Oil workers confront govt over new payroll system

Oil worker22 February 2014, Sweetcrude, Lagos – INDICATION has emerged that a major confrontation is in the offing between the Federal Government of Nigeria, FGN, and the Nigerian oil workers over planned implementation of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS, in the oil and gas sector.

Visibly angry oil workers have advised the FGN to halt the planned implementation of the IPPIS in the sector, describing the system as not conformity with the peculiar nature of the industry.

Speaking against the backdrop of a deadline handed down by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to some agencies in the oil and gas industry, the workers under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), warned that if the government insists on forcing the IPPIS and its negative effects on the personnel records and payroll system in the oil and gas industry, it will provoke an unfathomable industrial crisis.

They insisted that any deadline given by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to force the implementation or to cut the funding of the agencies will be vehemently resisted.

Speaking in Lagos, President and National Public Relations Officer, NPRO, of PENGASSAN, Comrade Babatunde Ogun and Comrade Seyi Gambo, said that the government agencies in the oil and gas were currently operating a very efficient, transparent and International Financial Reporting System ,(FRS, system and there was no need to introduce a new system that would drag the industry payroll system back.

Comrade Ogun argued that the current system operating in agencies in the industry adequately supported easy extraction of data for national budget processes and it equally made auditing of personnel records to be undoubtedly accomplished.

He said “We, PENGASSAN, have written to the Ministers of Petroleum Resources, and Labour and Productivity, as well as the Accountant General of the Federation on our reservations about the planned implementation of the IPPIS policy in our industry. We are against our industry being used a guinea pig to try all forms of policies that is not working in other industry.”

On his own, Comrade Gambo explained that the new personnel payroll system did not factored in the ongoing reforms in the industry, especially the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), noting that “the IPPIS does not include allowances that are pre-determined because of their technical nature.”

He noted that IPPIS was implemented and failed in the education sector because it was rigid in nature and did not support time-bound remunerations, calling on the government to shelve the planned implementation of the new payroll system so as not to throw the oil and gas sector into an avoidable industrial crisis.

In the same vain, PENGASSAN General Secretary, Comrade Bayo Olowoshile, argued that instead of introducing the IPPIS policy that could bugged down the industry with unnecessary bureaucratic bottleneck, the government should task agencies in the industry to evolve pragmatism and professionalism required the technocrats’ world.

“With IFRS in place, it is easier to generate certified, reliable and trusted information for easier integration and uploading into Treasury Single Account’s (TSA) main server for pooling purposes. It is better for the government to engage us on the way forward than forcing a bitter pill in the form of IPPIS down our throat,” he stated

About the Author