The operations of oil giant Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) in the oil-rich Niger Delta region will be impacted by the planned downsizing of its workforce in Nigeria by 25 percent across various levels in the oil firm.

 a development frowned at by the Petroleum andNatural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).

 The oil firm said the development followed theevolving negative operational environment in the energy sector. The News Agencyof Nigeria (NAN) reports that workers of the oil firm under the auspices of thePENGASSAN on Friday in Lagos protested the looming sack of 600 employees.

CNL’s General Manager Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Esimaje Brikinn,  in a response statement, made available to NAN on Friday, noted that the 25 percent job cut was to reposition the oil firm for greater efficiency and competitiveness.

The statement was, however, silent on the exact number of workers to be affected by the job cut, but said that 25 percent of its workers will be sacked.

 “CNL and its affiliates, confirms that it isreviewing its manpower requirements in the light of the changing businessenvironment while continuing to evaluate opportunities to improve capitalefficiency and reduce operating costs.

“In this process, thecompany will be streamlining its workforce and improving service delivery andoverall performance at all levels. “This will increase efficiency andeffectiveness, retain value, reduce cost, and generate more revenue for theFederal Government of Nigeria.

 “It is important to note that all ouremployees will retain their employment until the reorganization process iscompleted,” he noted.

 “CNL supports the Federal Government in itsobjectives and efforts to build a prosperous Nigeria. In the area of employmentgeneration, the company has several social investments that are helping toprovide employment for thousands of Nigerians,” the statement read in part.

 He dismissed speculations that the exercisewas to outsource jobs done by Nigerians to foreigners, adding that there are noplans to migrate Nigerian jobs outside the country.

 He explains ”we have prospects for our companyin Nigeria; however, we must make the necessary adjustments in light of theprevailing business climate; and we need everyone’s support to get throughthese tough times stronger, more efficient and more profitable, in order tosustain the business”.

 He further stated that CNL is in alignmentwith both its Joint Venture partners, the NNPC, and the Department of PetroleumResources (DPR) on the process.

“We are actively engaging our workforce to ensure they understand why this is being done. We will continue to consistently engage all relevant stakeholders, including the leadership of the employee unions as we continue this process of business optimization.

 “At CNL, the welfare and safety of ourworkforce are one of our highest priorities. “Making changes to theorganization is never easy for anyone that will be impacted, but it isnecessary to improve our ability to remain competitive in Nigeria.

 “Reducing the cost and improving theefficiency of our operations is critical to generating more revenues for theFederal Government of Nigeria,” Esimaje said.