Amidst the excruciating pains and hard times caused by COVID-19 Pandemic, a member of the House of Representatives from Rivers State, Hon. Doctor Farah Dagogo, has flayed ExxonMobil for the sack of 495 of his staff in the Niger Delta.
He made this known through a press statement while querrying the reasons for the 'hasty retrenchment' by the oil company when the House of Representatives has already passed the Nigerian Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill into law to cushion the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He explained that aside the passed bill, the Federal Government has equally rolled out other measures aimed at re- jigging the economy as well as preventing sack of workers.
Farah Dagogo, who represents Degema/Bonny in the House, decried the timing of the sack at a time when global oil prices have surged to a two month high on growing signs of a rebound in oil demand regretting that a larger percentage of the sacked workers are from Bonny in Rivers State and Akwa Ibom state.
" I am yet to comprehend how ExxonMobil intend to justify this unholy and hasty retrenchment of over 495 of its staff in the Niger Delta states of Rivers and Akwa Ibom. The people of my Constituency in Bonny constitute a large fraction of those regrettably thrown into the job market.
"It is curious that ExxonMobil will decide to sack these workers when the Government is trying all it could to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 pandemic on businesses in the country.
"The House of Representatives recently passed the Nigerian Emergency Economic Stimulus bill into law with provisions for temporary relief to companies and individuals to alleviate the adverse financial consequences of a slowdown in economic and business activities caused by COVID-19; as well as protect the employment status of Nigerians who might otherwise become unemployed as a consequence of management decision to retrench personnel in response to the prevailing economic realities.
"Just today from the global oil sector where ExxonMobil operates, we understood that the oil rally has extended to the fourth day, amid signs that producers are implementing output cuts as promised, with demand picking up due to global easing of lockdowns and hope for the positive test result of a coronavirus vaccine.
"Further good news is that our country's headline crude, Bonny light, surged by 13.77% as it hit $33.95 per barrel, getting to a two month high. The Brent crude has also hit a two month high, selling for $35.02 per barrel as at 10.00 am Nigerian time. The American WTI is selling for $32.60 per barrel.
"With all these, I do not know how ExxonMobil in good conscience will justify the sack of these workers who are in its lower cadre of employment. Part of my Constituents in Bonny are affected, as well as others in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States. It is paramount that ExxonMobil reconsider this retrenchment, " he said.