Unpaid Wages By Italian Oil Company -Nigeria Oil Operators Face Tense Protests

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About thousands of Nigerian oil contractors have been holding talks with major Italian oil company over unpaid wages.

Since production was restored following attacks by militant in the Niger Delta, contractors gave the Italian company Eni two weeks to settle the debt and threatening to escalate protests if requests are not met.

The company’s representative in Nigeria blamed the payment delays on debts owed by the NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation). Also, Italian prosecutors are asking that Eni chief executive Claudio Descalzi and 10 other people to be tried for alleged international corruption.

This increases the problems faced by the oil giant.

They are also asking for the trial of Eni’s former CEO Paolo Scaroni, and others which includes- managers and mediators.

This is due to the alleged payment of US$1.3 billion in bribes to the former Nigerian government in 2011. Through this bogus deal, Eni and Royal Dutch Shell secured exclusive rights to develop Africa’s biggest and wealthiest oil blocs offshore. The prosecutors claim that Eni paid over US$1 billion to a Nigerian government account while Shell paid another US$200 million.

In wake of the bribery allegation, Nigeria’s anti-graft agency also filed charges against major European oil companies. It was alleged that these companies purchased License 245 by bribing  former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete and his Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd. Meanwhile, the Nigeria government has seized the oil block.

These protest over unpaid wages are expected to increase, as the company is firing hundreds of workers and cutting back on contractors because low global oil prices.

But right now, Nigeria’s daily oil productions stand at 1.8 million barrels, since peace was partly restored.

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