Mkpoikana Udoma 23 October 2015, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has advocated financial autonomy for the government-owned refineries.
The oil workers’ union said the call was imperative to improve operational effectiveness and to create the ambience that would attract private investors to take advantage of the downstream petroleum liberalisation policy.
National President of PENGASSAN, Mr. Francis Johnson, made the call in Port Harcourt as the labour union held its 4th Triennial Branch Delegate Conference, at the premises of the Port Harcourt Refinery in Rivers State.
Johnson stated that if the country granted the newly-fixed and upgraded refineries financial autonomy, the target of the Federal Government to boost local production of petroleum products would be achieved.
According to him, “We demand that adequate authority and financial autonomy be granted to refineries’ management to boost operational effectiveness and that enabling environment be created to attract private investors to take advantage of the Downstream Liberalisation Policy and establish refining business to enhance self-sufficiency in locally refined petroleum products and even create jobs.
“This also enables the management to settle service providers and contractors working on the plant as well as pay duty claims and improve the welfare of the workers.”
Johnson commended the Federal Government for putting back the refineries in a functional mode to boost local refining.
He urged the government to provide adequate funding for their operation as promised by the NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, during his visit to the plants, to enable the management to promptly and adequately service any part of the plants that required attention without delay.