01 July 2014, Lagos – ORGANISED labour in the nation’s petroleum industry, has called on the Federal Government to give Nigerians a definite time frame to end fuel importation and gas flaring in the country.
Under the umbrella of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, labour said it is aware of the clandestine moves by the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, to sell the public refineries despite the agreement reached between the Federal Government and organised labour. It warned that selling off the refineries without the consent of labour will throw the industry into unprecedented industrial turmoil.
The association also alerted the Nigerian public that the Federal Government has refused to reconstitute the board of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, and has therefore been unilaterally running the agency, preventing other stakeholders from scrutinising its subsidy claims.
Babatunde Ogun, immediate past President of PENGASSAN, told Sweetcrude that “PENGASSAN plays key role in the downstream sector of oil and gas operation, and policy issues. Our inputs to policy formulation have been of help in the management of emerging and difficult challenges in the sector. The association supported downstream liberalisation to foster private investments, participation and competition in petroleum products refining, storage, marketing and distribution.
“We noted that a lot of work is required to stimulate private sector participation, encourage investment through the promotion of fair and healthy competition. In all these, the consuming public and businesses need protection against the severity and vagaries of market forces and exploitation of consumers through overpricing.