09 December 2013, Abuja – The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has expressed disappointment on the National Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) stating that the ideals and purpose for which the board was being set have not been realised.
NUPENG President, Igwe Achese, who made the union’s position known in a statement, accused the board of failure to fish out indigenous firms, who are fronting for foreign firms operating in the sector.
The oil workers union also alleged that the Content Development Board has failed to monitor and enforce indigenous firms owing their workers’ salaries and allowances.
“The Content Development Board has failed to monitor and enforce on these indigenous firms owing their workers’ salaries and allowances. 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. These foreign firms invest in fabrication and other local content tools used in the oil and gas industry, using Nigerians as fronts. This whole exercise negates the principle behind the local content Act and these firms have many expatriate workers doing jobs that qualified Nigerians can do,” the union stated.
The union equally condemned the board’s exclusion of the two unions in the oil and gas industry in its just concluded stakeholders’ conference, noting that the motive was to make the unions not to open up on the weaknesses and lapses in the local content bill. It maintained that the non-inclusion of NUPENGASSAN in the Stakeholders summit is an attempt to gag labour’s submissions on happenings in the affairs of the Board particularly compromising on issues of regulation in the industry.
“The Union frowns and condemns in its entirety the action of the Content Development Board to single out the two labour unions in the oil and gas industry, who are major Stakeholders in the sector. NUPENG was in the forefront for the struggle to make the local content bill a reality but today it is been excluded in the discussions of the affairs that affect the human capital involved in the actualisation of the process.
“The Local Content Board’s deliberate act to exclude the two unions, NUPENG and PENGASSAN is to make them not to open up on the weaknesses and lapses noticeable, which the Unions have always pointed out.
“NUPENG believes that the non-inclusion of NUPENGASSAN in the Stakeholders summit is an attempt to gag their submissions on happenings in the affairs of the Board as it is not yet equal to the task and compromising on issues based on regulation in the industry. NUPENG therefore calls for another summit to include the Union and PENGASSAN for the truth to be told in order to move the work of the Board forward,” the statement added.
– This Day