About 850 workers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), have been sacked, many from the refineries amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the General Secretary of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, (PENGASAN), Lumumba Okugbawa, has confirmed.

The affected workers, both skilled and unskilled contractors, including technicians who helped maintain Nigeria’s oil refineries, were laid off following the Covid-19 pandemic break out.

Layoffs in Nigeria’s oil sector are a tense issue, with frequent stand-offs between the NNPC and the various unions representing different bodies, often leading to strike actions

Nigeria which is dependent on crude sales to prop up its struggling economy, now at risk of its worst recession in four decades due to the coronavirus and the pandemic taking global oil prices.

It was gathered that this is not the first time that staff of the NNPC have been laid off as more than 6, 600 staff were sacked in May, 2020, and with the recent sacking of more staff, PENGASAN may be forced to go on a nationwide strike soon.