NUPENG raises alarm over impending retrenchment, others

nupeng1The National President of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Dr. Igwe Achese, has raised the alarm regarding what he said was an impending trouble in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector nation, occasioned by massive retrenchment, casualisation, prolonged queues in fuel stations and staff slavery, among others.

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

Achese said these, yesterday, at the Emmaculate Hotels, 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.”

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 norm for the management of multinationals, expressing dismay that NUPENG had been the worst hit.

According to him, the dwindling price of oil in the international market has affected the revenue base negatively by about 50 per cent.
The NUPEGNG boss canvassed diversification into agriculture, solid minerals and tourism, so as to generate sustainable revenue.

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

Achese commended the planned Turn-Around Maintenance (TAM) going on in Nigeria’s four refineries, adding that when put into full use, the country’s refining capacity would increase to about 440,000 barrels per day.

On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Achese urged that the bill be re-packaged and re-submitted to the National Assembly. To produce a comprehensive bill, he solicited the inclusion of ‘industry operators players, presiding representatives, the National Assembly, security and service chiefs, state governments MDA representatives, NNPC, NEITI, revenue offices, NLC, TUC and NUPENG /PENGASSAN’ to handle the grey areas in the bill.

He reiterated the call for the establishment of the Pipelines Protection Agency to secure pipelines every minute of the day.

On the Boko Haram, the NUPENG chief believed that the December deadline given to the military to tackle the terrorists by President Muhammadu Buhari, would be realised, advising for increased tempo on intelligence gathering.

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