01 November 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Oil workers, under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, have called on stakeholders, especially the government, to embark on a number of coordinated steps to resolve some of the problems bedevilling the oil and gas industry.
They specifically lamented that the country has lost so much revenue and new investments due to the delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.
PENGASSAN, in a communique issued at the end of its National Executive Council, NEC, meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, said the meeting deliberated on various issues, including the PIB, attacks on national assets, rehabilitation of refineries and other government owned oil installations, anti-labour posture and practices of indigenous companies and marginal field operators, contract and casual staffing, infrastructural decay and national industrial relations crisis.
“The NEC-in-session reaffirms its commitment to collaborate with other stakeholders to ensure passage of this Bill, and will ensure that the lacunas, particularly the adverse labour clauses identified in the Bill are addressed before its passage,” the association said in the statement.
The NEC also condemned the continuous attacks on national assets such as pipelines and other oil and gas installations in the country, which has caused incalculable damage to the national and industry’s revenue, demanding strong security strategies and use of modern equipment to arrest the situation.
Acknowledging efforts of the government to rehabilitate the nation’s refineries, the NEC however implored that the government should, as a matter of urgency and priority, carry out a comprehensive Turn Around Maintenance in the four state-owned refineries.
The communique further read: “The NEC-in-session also calls on the Federal Government to come out with distinct plans and implementation strategy for crude supply to the refineries.
“The NEC-in-session also notes the positive impact of the planned modular and other private refineries on the industry and the economy as a whole. The NEC-in-session, therefore, emphasises the need to be proactive in labour-related issues that will arise therefrom.
“The NEC-in-session demands that facilities such as depots, jetties, tank farms, pipelines and pump stations be rehabilitated along with the refineries to ease supply of crude oil to the refineries as well as evacuation and distribution of refined products throughout the country.”
The NEC frowned at the anti-union posture of indigenous oil and gas companies and marginal field operators, and therefore called on regulatory institutions and business partners (Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources through the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, NNPC/NAPIMS, international oil companies, IOCs, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment) to call such companies to order.