Chief Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, on Monday appealed to oil companies against their reported plan to sack some of their workers.
Ngige said as a meeting with major oil companies in the country that such retrenchment plan, if implemented could “throw the nation into upheaval”.
The Renaissance gathered that some companies were planning to retrench the workers due to the dwindling price of crude oil in the international market.
The minister emphasised that the nation was already facing some social security problems and could not afford more job cuts.
“The oil majors in Nigeria must therefore bend backwards and see what they can plough back from their profits to keep Nigerian workers on their duty posts,” he said.
Ngige assured the oil companies not to entertain fear as the present economic downturn would not last forever.
“Keep the existing jobs as nothing lasts forever.
“We have a down turn today but you can be sure it will not last for ever,” Ngige said.
A director at Chevron Nigeria Limited, Ihuoma Onyearughe, said the situation in the oil company was dire.
“We want to ask for more understanding in appreciation of the challenges we face.
“Nevertheless, we have heard the minister and we will take his message back to our various companies,” she said.