15 April 2015, Lagos – The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers has called on the incoming government headed by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to address outstanding reforms in the oil and gas sector.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, the President, NUPENG, Igwe Achese, said that if the current National Assembly did not pass the bill, new assembly members should not delay its passage into law
According to him, the union is in full support of the continuity of the transformation plans for the sector.
Achese said, “The National Assembly has done so much in taking these issues for granted. We hope that the PIB will be passed before the present National Assembly is dissolved.”
He said that the union was not averse to the privatisation of oil companies, but the model used should be reviewed to be at par with international best practices, urging the new administration to come up with other policies that would help to develop the economy.
He explained that the divestment of petroleum assets by multinational oil companies operating in the country was a threat to the economy and job creation.
In addition, he called on the incoming administration to rehabilitate all access roads in the country and expand the ones that needed to be expanded.
NUPENG President, while highlighting other areas that should be addressed by the new administration, said, “The oil and gas transformation plan should be continued. The divestment has been affecting the country and complaints concerning labour issues have not been addressed. The oil and gas sector is important to the economy and the expatriates have already made their money. The PPRA has not been reconstituted despite several calls.
“Outsourcing and casualisation are major challenges in every sector of the economy. More workers can only conveniently exercise their rights of paying tax when their salaries can secure their future.
The exchange rate is still high and the minimum wage has expired after five years. We need a minimum wage to sustain us and make tax payment easy.
“The four refineries must be rehabilitated and the new ones established in order to reduce massive importation of petroleum products.”
Commenting on the frequent pipeline vandalism across that country, Achese said the practice had prevented fuel depots across the country from having fuel supply.
He urged the new administration to ensure optimal security of the pipelines.