Strike: Govt’s Negligence Brought Us Where We Are Today – PENGASSAN

Channels Television  
Updated November 9, 2020

Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has accused the Federal Government of negligence in the manner it is handling the concerns raised by the union.

PENGASSAN President, Festus Osifo, who made the allegation on Monday said that has led the union to its present position.

Amid the ongoing nationwide strike by the oil workers, he stated that the union made several attempts to resolve the issues raised as a result of the shortfall in workers’ salaries and arrears.

“It is negligence on the part of the government representatives, that we are where we are today,” Osifo said during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

The issues raised by the oil and gas workers were a fallout of the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) by the government regarding the payment of salaries.

While the union said that it does not have a preference for any tool used by the government to pay salaries, workers’ remuneration must be paid without any shortfall.

Osifo decried that the arrears and allowances of some union members at the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA), and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), were ceased sometimes in the year.

He explained that the conversation on the issue of IPPIS started several years ago and PENGASSAN engaged relevant government agencies on how the platform should be structured to take cognisance of workers’ pay in the oil and gas sector.

“We agreed with the government that we should set up a technical committee that will look into these issues one after the other, to be sure that our specific earning in the oil and gas industry is taken care of.

“At the end of the day, the committee was set up but the government was not committed to it, we fixed a date for a meeting and when our members get there, we will wait from morning till night, and nothing was done,” the PENGASSAN president said.

He added, “For us in PENGASSAN, we don’t specifically mind the tool that the government will use in paying our salaries, but what we are saying is that any tool that you want to use in paying our salaries must not short-change our members.

“Today, they have forcefully enrolled our members in NNRA without data capturing and without biometrics.

“In NNRA today, they paid them the last two months salary via IPPIS and it will shock you to note that most of our members got at least 30 per cent reduction in their pay and a lot of allowances that they earn were nor paid as well.”

Channels Television made an attempt to get a representative of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to respond to the allegations but nobody showed up before the end of the breakfast show.