Ex-PENGASSAN president urges union, management collaboration over drop in oil price



FORMER President of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Dr Louis Brown Ogbeifun, has called on both the managements and the workers’ unions in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, to collaborate in order to stay afloat amidst the current global challenges.

Speaking during a dinner organized by the Oil Producers’ Trade Section (OPTS) to mark his retirement from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC),  Ogbeifun said that they collaborate, enthrone an effective dialogue process devoid of strikes and lockouts in the face of the uncommon challenges that the Nigerian oil and gas industry is facing.

He said: “There is need for unions and managements to explore ways outside the traditional industrial relations process in resolving issues surrounding contracts of employment, outsourcing, CBAs, welfare of staff and organizational productivity.

The social dialogue partners in the oil and gas sector must approach all issues with open minds and deal with each other with utmost respect while managements must be truthful in the use of data during engagement with the unions.

The unions must empathize with managements as they grapple with the tough human resource management in this age and time.   The former PENGASSAN President, who according to a press statement emphasized the need for service to be geared towards the good of the general society, said the unfolding events in global oil market were sources for concern that must motivate both managements and labour to develop new strategies for survival.

He said: “The slump in the global oil prices, the entrance of some countries such as Iran into the oil market, the glut and entrance of the United States of America (USA) and Australia into the global LNG market coupled with our local problems of crude oil theft, continuous pipeline vandalism and corruption have greatly impacted on the industry and all stakeholders must throw away personal identities and wear the garb of collectivism if Nigeria’s oil and gas must survive these harsh socio-economic realities.

The impact is so enormous that nations’ economies, including Nigeria, are crumbling or at the verge of crumbling or are just managing to survive.

Oil and gas operations in Nigeria are shrinking. If the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could not save prices and the prices continue to crumble further, what hope does the government have in caring for the country’s needs?”

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