PENGASSAN Faults Govt For Indiscriminate Issuance Of Permits To Foreigners

PENGASSAN is one of the major unions for oil workers in the country.
PENGASSAN is one of the major unions for oil workers in the country.

 

Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), has faulted the government for laxity in the issuance of work permits to foreigners.

PENGASSAN President, Comrade Festus Osifo, said that the weak institutions of the government make it so easy for foreigners to get work permits for low-skilled jobs that Nigerians can do.

Osifo made this remark on Wednesday while speaking at the ongoing PENGASSAN Energy and Labour Summit 2022 in Abuja.

He said, “One of the greatest constraints that trade union has passed through in Nigeria is because our institutions are weak. In other climes, it is difficult for an expatriate to get papers to even work in certain countries. But here in Nigeria, it is business as usual, so it puts a lot of pressure on trade unions because the government institutions are not weak.

“There is a particular company in Nigeria that we will face very soon. If you go to that company, you have more Indians working there than Nigerians, You have Indians as vulcanizers, you have Indians as gatemen, you have Indians as welders. These are skills that we have in Nigeria, but who gave them permits to come to Nigeria?”

The union leader said the government cannot claim to be bothered by the high rate of unemployment but continue to issue work permits indiscriminately.

“It is the same government saying that they want to create jobs, the same government saying they want to do everything possible to ensure that Nigerians are employed. In a country where you have over 33 per cent unemployment rate, we give permits to all manner of people to come to this country to work a job that a primary school leaver can do.

The PENGASSAN summit with the theme “Energy Transition and its Effects on the Workforce in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Sector” started on Monday with several dignitaries and speakers in attendance

Subsidy Removal: Govt Must Lead By Example, Says PENGASSAN

 

The President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Comrade Festus Osifo, has disclosed the position of the union on the issue of petroleum subsidy removal.

Comrade Osifo said that while the union acknowledged that payment of subsidy for petrol is no longer sustainable, the government must take shrewd measures to ensure the reality of this.

Osifo made this known at the PENGASSAN Energy and Labour Summit 2022 in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said, “It is clearly not sustainable for us to be spending close to 7 trillion in the payment of subsidy. We quite know from the information available to us that the financial situation of this country is in dire straits. We know as well that the amount of money we are using in servicing debt is even getting higher than our revenue, so it shows clearly that we are in dire straits but our leaders must lead by example.

“Today, if you check the budget that was passed, there is what is called Service Wide Vote. The Service Wide Vote today is going to three trillion naira. The accounting system of Service Wide Vote is questionable, we live in profligacy. Today, go to several states and see what our governors are doing.

“They cannot tell us that we are passing through austerity; they cannot tell us that they need our help but they are still living, as usual, we must cut our coats according to our size. We have challenged and told them, why can’t you come out and lead by example and say okay, I am going to cut down on ABC and E and actually you go ahead and do it?

“The National Assembly will come out and say we are going to cut our budget by 50 per cent, and then the same goes across the board. When you have done that it is easier for you to now engage the union leaders.”

The PENGASSAN leader likened the current situation surrounding the subsidy removal between the government and the unions to a man trying to cut costs in his home but going around marrying more wives.

He said, “The challenge that we have today is just like a man who wakes up in the morning and tells his child I can no longer pay your school fees that things are difficult, he tells his wife we have to reduce the quantity of food in this house because there is austerity but at the same time this man goes around to marry the second wife, marry the third wife, marry the fourth wife and the man goes around to now start taking 5 bottles of alcohol a day instead of one he was taking.

“So that calls for the question, the children will now call him and ask daddy, are you sure we are actually in austerity? Are you sure what you are telling us is true because you must start practising what you preach?”

PENGASSAN Plans Nationwide Protest Over Oil Theft

Why We Suspended Nationwide Strike – PENGASSAN

 

 

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has planned a nationwide protest over crude oil theft.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, the PENGASSAN President, Festus Osifo, charged the government to hold those whose responsibility is to protect oil pipelines to account.

The association also threatened to withdraw their services should the government failed to take decisive action against oil thieves, as the current situation already affects its members in oil-producing companies that have been shut down due to theft.

The association urged the Federal Government to punish culprits to serve as deterrent.

Why There’s Fuel Scarcity – PENGASSAN

 

President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Festus Osifo, has shed light on the reasons behind the fuel scarcity experienced across the country, particularly in Lagos and Abuja.

During an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, he highlighted the issue of ‘bridging funds’ between the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and truck drivers who deliver the Premium Motor Spirits (PMS).

Read Also: Selling Petrol At N165 Unrealistic, Says IPMAN As Scarcity Hits Lagos

“The NMDPRA are the ones administering a bridging fund. At a particular time, they agreed with truck drivers that the bridging fund is going to be about N10 per litre depending on the destination you’re going to all over the country.

“As at when they agreed, the cost of diesel was about N250 so it was fashionable and the N10 was a bit okay but today, the cost of diesel is over N700. It has tripled. So, the expectations from the tanker drivers is that since the cost has gone up, instead of paying me N10.40kobo as the case may be, you have to multiply it by three.

“At the end of the day, that is the first problem”.

Contrary to the belief that PMS is scarce, the PENGASSAN boss said that there’s at least 2 billion litres in stock.

“As at today, we have close to 2 billion litres of PMS, so the problem is not the stock,” he said, explaining that while the stock is available, most of the truck drivers are not willing to move these products “because of the previous problem I just enumerated”.

“One of the issues again is that today, NNPC is the sole importer of PMS, so they import PMS into the country, and this PMS is brought to the high sea, so they rent some smaller vessels to bunker the PMS and take to the various tank farms or depots. So, if it’s the NNPC depots and you are loading from the NNPC depots, you are going to pay abut N148 as the ex-depot price. But some of the PMS are also stored in private depots and those private depots don’t sell to the retailers for 148; they add some premium to it, at the end the of the day, they sell between 152, 155, 160 and 162.

“So, if they sell at that amount, it will now be difficult for the retailer to go and sell at the same amount.”

Meanwhile, President Muhamamdu Buhari has defended the Federal Government’s decision to keep paying fuel subsidies.

In a response to Bloomberg, the President said the effects of removing fuel subsidies would have been too harsh on the Nigerian people.

He said the government is working on boosting local capacity in order to stem the inflationary pressures that are likely to be triggered by a removal of subsidies.

“Most western countries are today implementing fuel subsidies. Why would we remove ours now?” What is good for the goose is good for the gander!” The President said.

Increase Local Refining Capacity By Rehabilitating All Refineries – PENGASSAN

PENGASSAN is one of the major unions for oil workers in the country.
PENGASSAN is one of the major unions for oil workers in the country.

 

The President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has reiterated the Association’s call on the Government to increase local refining capacity and remove all observed encumbrances to the full rehabilitation of the three other refineries as a way to end the current debate on deregulation and fluctuating cost of petroleum products in the Country.

Festus Osifo also advocated for the revocation of unused licenses for private and modular refineries.

“We reiterate our call for the immediate revoke of un-utilized the licenses issued to non-practicing companies and individuals for the establishment of private refineries and re-issue them to those with financial capacities and technical abilities. Also, fulfill the promise to encourage the establishment of modular refineries to sustain the gains already recorded in the sector under the present dispensation,” he said.

READ ALSO: NNPC Records ₦141.96bn Trading Surplus

The PENGASSAN President who spoke at the 2021 Leadership Workshop organized by the Warri Zone of the Association held in Asaba, Delta State capital recently, also demanded Federal Government intervention in the ongoing gas price hike. “We are also worried at the unending high cost of domestic gas and demand that Government should evolve ways towards making the commodity cheaper.”

According to him, “As an Association, training and re-training of our personals, either as elected officials or employees has always been paramount to us. From the inception of this present leadership, all staff and most members have benefited from local and foreign pieces of training in which huge some of resources were expended. This year despite the limiting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have participated in several pieces of training and re-training tailored towards making our members more productive and adding value not only to the Association but to the overall development of our dear nation, Nigeria.”

He re-emphasized the importance of industrial relations to the economy of the country, while promising to always support workshops and training programmes of members. “The state of industrial relations in any economy is a crucial factor that impacts the national economy. It is indispensable that development irrespective of the path it takes is heavily dependent and driven by the social partners (government, employers, and the employees). In consequence, the State, Employers Association, and the Trade Union Movement are the institutions propelling and lubricating the arms of National development. In-a-nut-shell, Industrial, and Labour relations practices have contributed significantly to the pace of development in Nigeria”.

The one-day Workshop on the theme; TRADE UNION LEADERSHIP IN THE POST PETROLEUM INDUSTRY ACT (PIA) 2021 had dignitaries that presented goodwill messages at the event to include, Delta State Governor Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, represented by Hon. Prince Emmanuel Amgbaduba, Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mrs. Callister Azogu, Deputy Managing Director Agip, represented by Comrade Chief Doris Nwachukwu Ijeoma and the Comrade Dr. Kalmadeen Mustapha, Warri Zonal Chairman.

PENGASSAN Raises Alarm Over High Cost Of Food, Cooking Gas

A file photo of a woman at a market.

 

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has raised an alarm over the increasing cost of food and cooking gas in the country.

In a statement jointly signed by its President – Festus Osifo, and General Secretary – Lumumba Okugbawa, the union lamented that the nation was degenerating into a land plagued with hunger.

The people’s purchasing power, according to its, has seriously worsened as the prices of food in the market have continued to rise in the last three years.

It blamed the situation on the devaluation of the naira against major currencies, displacement of farmers by bandits and terrorists, and inconsistent policies of the government, among others.

READ ALSO: NCDC Confirms Three Cases Of Omicron Variant In Nigeria

According to PENGASSAN, farmers in Benue, Plateau, Katsina, Nasarawa, and Taraba States cannot readily access their farmlands due to security threats.

On the cost of Liquified Natural Gas (LPG), commonly referred to as cooking gas, it lamented that the price of refilling a 12.5kg-cylinder has risen by almost 100 per cent.

The union believes poor families are going through harrowing experiences in their struggle to cope, even as the price of kerosene has since surged despite the unavailability of the product

It also asked the government to encourage its workers rather than making it mandatory to take the COVID-19 vaccine, adding the deregulation of the downstream oil sector must be based on domestic refining and not import-dependent.

Read the statement dated November 30, 2021, below:

PENGASSAN ON THE STATE OF NATION

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) wishes to bring to the attention of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and other critical stakeholders to some of the burning issues in our national polity and the existential need for Government to put the interest of the citizens first in all its dealings.

We strongly advocate that Government must develop a strong mechanism in tracking how its macroeconomic policies, be it fiscal or monetary, affect the disposable income of individuals and households in the country.

The Association has noted and sadly so, that most of the recent macro-economic policies of the Government have further exacerbated the economic hardship faced by our members and Nigerians in general.

If this poverty induced policies are not urgently checked and correctional measures put in place, we could assure you that the little shred of hope that the citizens have in the country will fast erode and this could degenerate the already challenging security situation and grossly affect the level of governance.

Some of the prevailing issues that are affecting the general populace and require urgent attention are as follows:

  1. FORCED VACCINATION ON NIGERIANS

PENGASSAN have observed with dismay the recent directive accompanied with threats by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) that Civil Servants, specifically Federal Government Employees, would from December 1 st 2021, shall be required to present proof of vaccination or negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, conducted within 72 hours to gain access to their offices in all locations in Nigeria and the Missions.

We consider this directive and threats as unbecoming, draconian and against the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that the Government pledged to always uphold. The Association has earlier admonished providers of labour to sensitise and advocate to its employees on the advantages of taking COVID-19 vaccines and not to issue threats to the workforce.

We wish to request that the undemocratic and anti-masses directives, that infringes on the right of the citizens be stopped and withdrawn with immediate effect.

  1. HIGH COST OF FOOD

The Nation is fast degenerating into a land plagued with hunger as if famine has descended on our beloved Nation. The purchasing power of the already pauperised disposable income of the citizens has greatly degenerated as the cost of food in the market has gone up astronomically in the last three years.

Whereas the astronomically increase in the cost of food, wages are at best stagnant and in some cases reduced unilaterally and drastically. This could be attributable to several factors that are not limited to the gross devaluation of the Naira against major currencies, displacement of farmers by bandits and terrorists, inconsistent policies of Government, etc.

To further exacerbate the looming dangers caused by food insecurity, farmers in states such as Benue, Plateau, Katsina, Nasarawa, and Taraba cannot readily access their farmlands due to myriads of security challenges occasioned by incompetence and lack of patriotism.

It is necessary to secure the farmers and their farmlands as aggregate food production by the local farmers is the bedrock on which the systems of our food security rest.

  1. HIGH COST OF LPG

The Association wishes to further bring to the attention of Government the hyperinflation that has greeted Liquified Natural Gas (LPG), commonly referred to as cooking gas. It is disheartening to note that the price of refilling a 12.5kg cylinder of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) has risen by almost 100% percent over the past one year.

This is one singular product that is used by several households in the country. Currently, the cost of cooking gas has continued in steady climb from an average of 4,500 Naira at the beginning of 2021 to the current price of between 8,750 and 10,000 Naira for the popular 12.5kg cylinder.

We are worried that most middle to upper-class homes, especially in the urban areas, are feeling the pinch. The poorer families are going through harrowing experiences trying to cope, more so as the price of kerosene had long taken flight in addition to being scarce in many places. Despite Nigeria sitting on one of the largest gas reserves in the world, we still depend largely on imported gas. Up to 70 per cent of the gas we consume in the country is imported.

Some of the reasons attributable to this skyrocket increment is the devaluation of the Naira against major currencies and the introduction of a value-added tax of 7.5% on imported gas, an increase in the international price of gas, etc. We hereby call on the President to immediately abolish the VAT on gas importation, prevent further slide of the Naira, channel some of the exported gas to domestic use, and provide some form of verifiable palliatives for the lower-class citizens.

  1. DEREGULATION OF PMS

The history of deregulating the downstream oil sector through gradual or total subsidy removal has engendered intense debates between PENGASSAN, successive Governments, stakeholders, and experts in the oil and gas sector with each claiming that it will guarantee long term stability in product supply and price. And that it will lead to an advance and well-developed economic transformation in the country.

PENGASSAN as an Association and a major stakeholder in the industry do not have issues with all the advantages, they claim that deregulations will usher into the economy because we understand the workings within the industry and therefore stand in a pole position on issues that border it. While maintaining our support for the full deregulation of the sector, we however reiterate that we will only support a deregulation exercise based on domestic refining and not import-dependent.

Therefore, effort should be made to increase the pace of the current Refinery rehabilitation and support the continuous strengthening of the Naira. Conclusively, we wish to admonish the Government at all levels to quickly come together and find urgent solutions in the short and long term to the myriad of issues plaguing the Nation to reduce the difficulties faced by the citizens.

A stitch in time saves nine.

For: PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS SENIOR STAFF ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (PENGASSAN).

Comrade Lumumba .I. Okugbawa, MINM                              Comrade Festus Osifo

General Secretary, PENGASSAN                                                 President, PENGASSAN

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

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.

Fuel Scarcity Looms As PENGASSAN Declares Nationwide Strike

 

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has declared a nationwide strike, sparking fears of fuel scarcity in the country.

PENGASSAN President, Festus Osifo, confirmed the union’s position during his appearance on Sunrise Daily on Monday.

“Today, PENGASSAN has declared a strike,” he said in an interview on the Channels Television breakfast programme.

He added, “Today our members are sitting at home and we will continually watch the situation and if we need to rev it up, we will definitely rev it up.”

Osifo explained that the industrial action followed the inability of the Federal Government to address the issues raised by the oil and gas workers.

He stated that the union had given the government a seven-day ultimatum in a statement issued on Monday last week to respond to the issues.

A file photo of an attendant filling the fuel tank of a car.

 

Another issue that is of concern to the union, according to the PENGASSAN president, is that relating to the action of a private oil company.

He accused the company of destroying PENGASSAN structure in its workforce, stressing that the management sacked literarily all union executive members and went ahead to lock members out for a very long time.

 

Govt’s Negligence Brought Us Where We Are

The major 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.

In his reaction, Osifo accused the government of negligence in the manner it was handling the issues, saying that has led the union to take the decision to go on strike.

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.”

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.

 

Do Not Short-Change Our Members

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.

Unpaid Salaries: NUPENG, PENGASSAN Protest, Threaten Nationwide Strike

workers of NUPENG and PENGASSAN protest over unpaid salaries

 

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have threatened to embark on a nationwide strike.

The unions threatened to go on strike with effect on Sunday if the Federal Government fails to pay their three months salary arrears.

Expressing their displeasure with the development, the protesting members went to the headquarters of the Petroleum Trust Development Funds (PTF) claiming that the Federal Government is withholding their salaries since May 2020 for failing to migrate to the Integrated Payroll System.

The unions insisted that they are not against the Integrated Payroll System but needed the clarification of grey areas before the implementation of the new scheme.

One of the protesting members speaking on behalf of his colleagues lamented on the non-payment of salary.

He said, “for the past three months we have not been paid our salaries, we have engaged with the government and IPPIS.”

The protesters who were dressed in red attire carried placards written, “No To Forceful Enrollment into IPPIS”,  “Release Our Salaries Now”, “We Are Not Against IPPIS but Create Another Platform That Addresses Our Peculiarities,” “We have families and dependents pay our salaries, pay Nigerian workers, pay our three months’ salaries” among others.

protesting unions carry placards with inscriptions, pay Nigerian workers

After listening to the unions, the Executive Secretary of PTDF, Aliyu Gusau, who spoke on behalf of the Minister of State for Petroleum, assured the members that their message will be delivered to the minister.

Executive Secretary of PTDF, Aliyu Gusau, addresses the protesting unions

“I want to commend you all for the orderly manner you all are conducting yourselves.

“I also want to commend the approach you all are using to engage with the Federal Government, I’m aware of some these issues and also aware of the efforts the minister is trying to use to solve these issues.

“I want to assure you that all your messages will be communicated with emphasis to the minister who is away in Yeanogoa, but I want to appeal to you all at all times to always put the interest of the nation ahead of anything else.

“Your grieves are real and as a matter of fact these issues can be resolved through positive engagement with the government”, he added.

NUPENG, PENGASSAN Accuse NNPC Of Sacking 850 Oil Workers

Oil Output
A file photo of the refinery in Kaduna, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is alleged to have sacked 850 contract staff working in the nation’s refineries.

This is according to a statement jointly signed by the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN).

It was signed by Williams Akporeha (NUPENG National President), Ndukaku Ohaeri (PENGASSAN National President), Afolabi Olawale (NUPENG General Secretary), and Lumumba Okugbawa (PENGASSAN General Secretary).

The unions also faulted the comments purportedly made by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, on refineries and oil and gas workers in the country.

They accused the minister of claiming that the refineries have not been working for three years while workers have continued to receive salaries and promotions.

He was also said to have blamed the oil workers for the sorry state of the refineries and that the union threatened to go on strike when NNPC said it would sack support staff.

In their response, the unions said the purported comments were laced with fabricated misinformation, misrepresentation of facts and falsehoods.

They said such comments were uncharitable and appalling, alleging that the minister was only making attempt to blamed what they described as the policy failure, maladministration, lack of foresight, and mismanagement of the refineries on hapless workers.

“On the purported threat of the Group Managing Director of NNPC to sack workers, we wish to state here that it was actually no more a threat but that it had already been carried out with the sack of 850 support staff in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, throwing almost a thousand workers into hard financial situation without an iota of empathy or consultation with the union,” the statement said.

The unions denied the claim that they threatened to go on strike, saying they demanded to be engaged for a proper discussion on the commensurate terminal benefits of the workers who have worked for 10 to 15 years.

“If a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Group Managing Director of NNPC can dismiss contract workers that have served for more than 10 years continuously as if they are rodents, what more can we expect from lOCs?

“The monthly salaries of 25 of these contract staff put together cannot equal a typical management staff salary of the same organisation,” the statement added.

When contacted for its reaction, the NNPC told Channels Television that it would speak about the allegations on Wednesday.

COVID-19: NUPENG, PENGASSAN Warn Against Attempts By Oil Companies To Sack Workers

An oil pumpjack operates in Signal Hill, south of Los Angeles, California on April 21, 2020, a day after oil prices dropped to below zero as the oil industry suffers steep falls in benchmark crudes due to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. Frederic J. BROWN / AFP.

 

The leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), have said that any attempt by multinational and indigenous Oil and Gas Companies to downsize, sack, or introduce indecent work system on its members would be resisted.

In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, the leadership of the unions stated that they sympathise with the employers over the negative impacts COVID-19 is having on the industry and business operations, but the moves if not properly checked, will further complicate the already impoverished state of Nigerian Oil and Gas Workers.

“The leadership of NUPENGASSAN condemn these moves and vow to resist them with all our might, as the moves are seen as unfair to the selfless and patriotic services of the Nigerian Oil and Gas workers to these Companies and the Nation over these past highly productive years and even when these workers are still fully participating in the frontline of the struggle against the pandemic rendering essential services.

These moves if not properly checked and managed by relevant authorities whose guidelines are being continually disobeyed by these Organisations will further complicate the already impoverished state of Nigerian Oil and Gas Workers, their immediate family and others depending on the workers’ incomes, for a living.”

The unions also called on the Federal Government to “urgently nip these ugly trends in the bud to avoid many untoward and damaging consequences of the actions and reactions.

The statement added that the unions will be forced to carry out an action that will affect the entire industry if the trend is not halted.

“The Federal Government and all its relevant Agencies are further put on notice that NUPENGASSAN might be forced to precipitate an action that will affect drastically the entire industry if this ugly trend is not halted and erring Organisations called to order.

“We earnestly implore these Companies that in the same manner and spirit they are making donations for the fight against COVID-19, they should also spare some kind thoughts for their Workers and strive to keep them alive and on the job so as not to create social upheavals that would be more devastating than the COVID19 pandemic.”

PENGASSAN Backs Sack Of Service Chiefs

President Muhammadu Buhari met with the service chiefs on Thursday, January 30, 2020.
President Muhammadu Buhari met with the service chiefs on Thursday, January 30, 2020.

 

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) on Monday said it is in support of the House of Representatives’ demand for the immediate resignation of the nation’s service chiefs.

The oil union, in a statement signed by its General Secretary, Comrade Lumumba Okugbawa, said the service chiefs have failed in their duty to “tackle the rising wave of criminality and alarming increase of insecurity” in the country.

READ ALSO: Terrorists Are Attempting To Stoke Religious Sensitivities – APC

The union said it was reiterating its call for a state of emergency to be declared on the country’s security situation.

“We cannot continue to guarantee the current industrial peace in our sector should there be no improvement on the part of the federal government in arresting this trend as recorded in 2019,” the statement said.