NUPENG alerts over looming crises in oil, gas industry

comrade_igwe_acheseNATIONAL President of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Dr. Igwe Achese, has alerted the nation over concerns that the oil and gas industry might experience industrial woes such as retrenchment, casualisation, prolonged queues in fuel stations, among others.

He, therefore, urged stakeholders in the industry to prepare against the likely associated problems.

Achese disclosed these on Wednesday at Owerri the Imo State capital during the 2015 NUPENG National Education Seminar with the theme: “Global Oil Politics Investment and Employment Relations in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry,” adding that the dwindling global fortunes in the industry is affecting the sector.

He said: “The practice of casualisation and contract staffing has become endemic in the oil and gas industry. These categories of workers are subjected to slavery and exploitative labour by oil multinationals.”

The NUPENG president regretted that outsourcing has become the decision of the management of the multinationals, expressing dismay that NUPENG had been worst hit.

According to him, the dwindling prices of oil in the international market has affected the revenue base negatively by about 50 percent.

Achese advised diversification to agriculture, solid minerals and tourism to generate more revenue for sustenance.

He advised that in as much as the union was not against deregulation of the downstream sector, the Federal Government should create enabling environment to “engender private investor interest in building refineries in the country”, to boast local refining capacity, which requires increasing local demand of petroleum products.

Achese commended the planned Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) going on in the four refineries, adding that when put into full stream, refined capacity would be 440,000 barrels per day, advising that the NUPENG leadership should be consulted to own shares.

On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Achese urged that the bill should be repackaged and submitted to the National Assembly. To make it comprehensive, he solicited the inclusion of industry operators, presiding representatives, National Assembly, security and service chiefs, state governments, MDAs representatives, NNPC, NEITI, revenue offices, NLC, TUC, NUPENG/PENGASSAN to handle the grey areas.”

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