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Nigeria oil workers embark on strike to protest lack of pay

Nigeria oil workers' union Pengassan has declared a three-day strike, complaining that salaries have not been paid for three months.
Africa’s largest oil producer relies on earnings from the black commodity for about 50% to 60% of its income and more than 90% of its export revenues. Photographer: George Osodi/Bloomberg

Nigerian oil workers began a 3-day strike at the petroleum ministry to demand almost three months of pay, according to the labour group representing them.

Members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, the country’s second-biggest labour group in the industry, stopped work at more than three state agencies under the ministry including the Department of Petroleum Resources, the oil industry regulator according to Fortune Obi, a spokesman for Pengassan union.

“Every effort to get the authorities to the table to discuss the challenges has been met with resistance,” he said by phone.

Nigeria, which gets about 90% of its foreign exchange from oil exports, is reeling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and a plunge in crude prices since March.

While the market has since rebounded and stabilised, the collapse slashed government revenue and left the continent’s top oil producer facing a recession the second time in four years.

A spokesman for the oil ministry did not immediately responded to phone calls and text messages seeking comment.

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