Mkpoikana Udoma 26 May 2017, Sweetcrude, Owerri – Mr. Ikechukwu Foster Onyefuru has been elected as the new chairman of Port Harcourt Zone of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN.
Ikechukwu Onyefuru emerges PENGASSAN Chairman Port Harcourt Zone
Onyefuru was announced winner late Thursday night after grabbing 94 votes against the immediate past Chairman, Mr. Azubuike Azubuike, who gathered 85 votes, and another contestant Mr. Francis Otono with three votes.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with SweetcrudeReports in Owerri, the new Zonal Chairman of PENGASSAN, said the welfare and concern of oil workers and Nigerians in general, will be his utmost priority.
“What Nigerians and our members should expect from us is that we are going to bring about a process and an institution that will be able to drive for the welfare of our members and protect the jobs of our members from the current economic downturn in the country.
“Working with this newly elected team, we will establish an institution that will be relevant to begin to provide solutions to partner with both government and private entities, as well as other labour centres to drive a positive change that will reduce the level of redundancy, pay cut, job loss and all other negative incidents that the Nigerian workers are facing today.
“The primary role of labour union is to protect the rights of workers but today the rights of workers are being eroded everyday, employers get involved with a lot of anti labour activities and ignoring established roles and laws. This team will work very hard to ensure that the primary role(which is to protect the rights of Nigerian workers) is taken as key process that we must drive within the next three years.”
Onyefuru who is from Shell Branch of PENGASSAN, described his winning as strategic, timely and purposeful borne out of teamwork.
He, however, commended the immediate past Zonal Executive Council of PENGASSAN, and also pledge to partner with the Trade Union Congress, TUC, to drive home his vision for the union.
“We thank the immediate past executive council and promised to start from where they stopped, and areas they did not do well, we will ensure that we develop processes that will ensure we tap from such areas; but the summary is, in today’s contest, there was no loser. All of us are winners and at the end of the day, it is PENGASSAN Port Harcourt Zone that has won.
“We use this medium to call on our labour centre, that is the TUC Rivers State Council led by Mr Austin Jonah, to continue to play the fatherly role because we intend to partner effectively with the TUC to be able to drive all these processes that we have mentioned; we believe that with effective partnership with TUC and other stakeholders such as Warri, Lagos and Kaduna zones of PENGASSAN it will be very easy for this new team to drive all these processes that we have talked about.”
It should be noted that the National Delegates Conference of PENGASSAN which will produce the next National Executive Council of the senior oil workers is expected to hold in Abuja on Monday, the 29th of May.