NUPENGASSAN seeks clause in PIB to curb casualisation
•Clamour for board membership
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have advocated for a clause in the Petroleum and Industry Bill (PIB) that would help in curbing casualisation of workers in the oil and gas industry.
The unions, which made their position known in a joint statement on the recently passed PIB, said that casualisation of workers in the oil and gas sector was gradually killing the industry, stating that the urgent need to halt the trend through a clause in the bill was pertinent.
A statement signed by heads of both unions, clamoured for inclusion on the board of industry regulators for the attainment of objectives of the bill, to ensure accountability and transparency in the industry.
The needs and justifications for this, the oil workers said was to ensure that the regulators are further strengthened in ensuring that issues bordering on the welfare of workers were championed from the cradle of the bill.
As the conference committee of the National Assembly meets, the leaderships of NUPENGASSAN has called on the need for the unions to be fully represented in the transition committee.
This, they said, was to ensure that issues bordering on workers are effectively taken on board from the onset. According to them, “this is the only way we could avoid industrial crisis that could arise if all the Is are not dotted and Ts crossed”, stating that both unions would resist with all its arsenals should it be overlooked during the transition committee.
For further realisation on full potential of the bill, the unions urged that the PIB does not monopolise the importation of petrol as currently provided in the senate version of the bill, to ensure that there is competition in the downstream oil and gas industry.
The unions advocated for single regulator in the industry, which would serve as one-stop-shop for current and aspiring investors as far as regulatory steering is concerned.
The workers advocated that the PIB should provide sufficient incentives to International Oil Companies (IOCs) and indigenous oil producers to invest in the downstream sector, noting that such incentives would help in driving the much-needed local refining.
Additionally, to enhance manpower training, the unions called for a total facelift of the Petroleum Training institutes and Federal University of Petroleum Resources, as the two key institutions that provide manpower to the oil and gas industry.
The workers, who lamented that the institutions have been poorly funded over the years, posited that operators in the industry should be mandated to dedicate 10 per cent of their yearly training budget to provide training for their personnel in these institutions.
Such promulgation, they said, would reduce the funding gap and also reduce the pressure on federal appropriation as the institutions depend largely on national budget to survive.
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