Petrobas $5bn Divestment: Pengassan Calls For Due Process

The national executive council (NEC) of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (Pengassan) has called on the National Oil Corporation of Brazil trading as Petrobras Nigeria Limited to carry along the labour union in the divestment of its stake in some Nigerian oil blocks valued at N795 billion ($5 billion).

Comrade Bayo Olowoshile, General Secretary, Pengassan said Petrobras management in Nigeria must respect due process and rule of law and ensure that the parent body of the organised labour in Petrobras, which is Pengassan is adequately engaged in accordance with the provisions of extant national and labour laws, and the industry best practices before the planned divestment is finalised and as part of the process of consummating due diligence on Petrobras.

“Such exercise goes a long way to minimise the harrowing incidence of contingent liabilities and hindrances for the Divesting Company, Petrobras, and the Divestee that would acquire Petrobras assets and portfolios in Nigeria,” the association said in a statement.

Olowoshile said it had previously engaged the company management but noted ‘Regrettably, the game changer was noted to be connected with the new offshore pre-salt oil discovered in the deep water of about 125 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro which is expected to yield about 35 billion barrels of recoverable oil equivalent, which is more than double Brazil’s existing reserves’.

?He said it suspected that Petrobas is redirecting investment towards higher return activities such as exploration and production to finance a five-year capital spending plan gearing to its pre-salt find. “Today, Nigeria public have seen how even the government of Nigeria has tarried to respect the adherence of due process and rule of law with labour in the electricity sector as it attempt to privatise government holdings and interest in energy generation, distribution and marketing. It is therefore unimaginable that Petrobras can take PENGASSAN for a ride”, it said.

?PENGASSAN said it forewarned the MD of Petrobras and was severally advised but he claimed that he was being backed by some lawyers and people in authority to attempt the suicidal approach of undermining due process, rule of law and industry practice, ostensibly to his own peril and to the detriment of the new company that will acquire its stake in the Nigeria Oil and Gas industry.