15 October 2015, Lagos – The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has called on the federal government to formulate an effective legal framework to check the prevalence of oil theft in Nigeria.
PENGASSAN President, Mr. Francis Olabode Johnson, made the call during a leadership training programme with the theme, “Managing New Skills in Labour Relations,” organised for branch chairmen, secretaries and industrial relations officers under the Lagos, Warri and Kaduna zones of the association in Benin, Edo State.
Johnson said a strong legal framework will not only stabilise the petroleum industry but will help check the increasing cases of illegal refineries and it adverse impact on oil workers and the nation’s economy.
While commending the federal government’s effort to ensure that Nigeria has functional refineries, he noted that government should also consider granting licences to indigenous investors.
“Government can look at giving Nigerians more licences; let Nigerians build refineries because they can also create jobs. When you have a legal framework for oil and gas, the issue of pipeline vandalism and illegal refineries would be taken care of.”
Johnson expressed the regret that major oil firms are using the falling crude oil price as excuse to lay off oil workers.
The union leader said: “The international oil companies (IOCs) should not be using the fallen crude oil prices as reason to sack workers. You cannot say that because there is a fall in crude oil price, which is something that is temporary and fluctuating, you want to make our members redundant and you are employing new people as contract or casual workers. It is not acceptable to us.”
He urged the federal government to consider the calls for diversification in order to ensure a stable and sustainable economy. “We want to appeal to the government that in view of the fluctuating crude oil prices, it must be looking at diversifying the economy.”
Earlier, the National Industrial Relations Officer of the association, Mr. Ndukaku Ohaeri, explained that the training was aimed at providing modern skills for members of the union to enable them manage industrial conflicts at all levels.
Ohaeri said: “We believe that if we give them the right training, they will be better equipped to handle those issues at the basic level. And if that is done, we will not have many problems at the zonal and national levels.
“Of times, we talk about industrial actions that could ground the economy. The only way to solve such problems is to go to the grassroots.”
- This Day