05 December 2013, Lagos – Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has expressed disappointment over an alleged deliberate act by National Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, to exclude the union and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association, PENGASSAN, from its just concluded stakeholders conference.
NUPENG, in a statement by its President, Igwe Achese, condemned the action of the Content Development Board, to single out the two labour unions in the oil and gas industry, “that are major stakeholders in the sector. NUPENG states that it was in the forefront of the struggle to make the local content bill a reality, but today it is being excluded in the discussions of the affairs that affect human capital involved in the actualization of the process.
NUPENG argued that “the Local Content Board’s deliberate act to exclude the two unions, is to make them not to open up on the weaknesses and lapses noticeable, which the unions have always pointed out. NUPENG reiterates that, it is sad to note that the ideals and purpose of setting up the board have not been realised. It is a shame today that the level of success expected of the board has not been met. The board has failed to call indigenous firms who are benefitting from the Local Content Act to stop enslaving their workers who are Nigerians, as casuals.
“The union states that the Content Development Board has failed to monitor these indigenous firms that are owing their workers salaries and allowances. The union also points out that the Local Content Board has also failed to fish out indigenous firms operating in the sector fronting for foreign firms, making the Act itself a nullity.”
*Victor Ahiuma-Young, Vanguard