Private security guards attached to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and who protect oil pipelines from Lokoja to Kaduna, have staged a peaceful protest to demand the payment of their 22-month salary arrears.
According to NAN, the workers blocked the entrance to the NNPC Depot at Awawa, Abaji Area Council, FCT and refused entry to staff, petrol tankers and visitors.
The security guards are employees of MRS Limited, and they carried placards bearing inscriptions such as: 'Pay us our 22-months salaries', 'We are not slaves' and 'We will block Abuja-Lokoja Road if we are not paid'.
Alhaji Abdullahi Kaja, spokesman of the workers, lamented that since MRS Limited took over, things have been different compared to when they were working directly under the NNPC, during which they were paid as and when due and received other benefits.
“Other security guards doing the same work at Warri, Port Harcourt and Katsina, have been paid, but we at Lokoja-Kaduna axis have not been paid. When we were working directly under the NNPC, our salaries were constant and we worked under good conditions. But when MRS Limited took over, there is no provision for even torch lights, raincoats and rain boots to enable us work properly. All we want is our salaries paid, as well as going back to work directly under the NNPC and not MRS Limited,” Kaja said.
He called on the government to intervene in order to resolve the dispute, and forestall the breakdown of law and other.
Another worker, Muhammed Hassan, accused the management of MRS Limited of being insensitive to their plight.
Alhaji Sani Mohammed, the Abaji NNPC Pumping Depot manager, declined comments, stating that MRS Limited was responsible for the security guards and was in better position to address the media.