Talks held to avert Nigerian oil production strike

April 4, 2005

Talks are being held between Nigerian unions and the country's government ahead of possible strikes next week. Earlier talks last week ended with no agreement.

The unions have called for three-day warning strikes over issues of job cuts and welfare. Although common, such short strikes tend to have little effect on oil producers as they can often manage to maintain production for short periods with non-union staff.

However there exists the possibility of supply interruptions from the world's eighth largest producer of oil if the union's fears are not dealt with and more strikes take place.

"Today's meeting is crucial," said the deputy of the Pengassan union Babatunde Ogun. "We will focus on Conoil and Belpop. If these issues can be resolved today, then things will be much easier," he continued, referring to the two state-owned companies at the centre of the dispute.

While in London on late Sunday the Nigerian Presidential Petroleum Advisor Edmund Daukoru said he was hopeful the state and the unions could reach a deal.