PENGASSAN makes case for workers in post-PIB regime
As the Federal Government progresses with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), oil workers have called for due consideration of labour issues in the companies that may be affected in the post-PIB regime.
The Chairman, PIB Committee of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Hyginus Chika Onuegbu, said the Federal Government should take the bill as priority because its outcome would determine the future of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, as well as the Nigerian workers.
According to him, the bill contains provisions about staff transfers from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and impacted agencies, which have to be carefully examined to ensure that there are no hidden landmines.
Unuegbu, who is the immediate Past Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC) Rivers State, urged government in its plans to change the ownership structure of the establishments in the petroleum sector, including asset sales and eventual divestments, not to leave behind labour issues so as not to lead to crisis with the unions.
To address the shortcomings of privatisation on workers in the Post PIB era, the 2012 NUPENG and PENGASSAN Joint national Committee on the PIB Committee, insisted that staff must not lose their jobs or be allowed to be transferred on a condition of service that is less favourable than what they currently have under any guise. This, he said, is also the position of the current PENGASSAN PIB Committee.“We note however that the provisions in the PIGIF are better than that of the 2012 PIB; however, we also know that there are additional challenges posed by repeals of existing laws as some of the Acts establishing the government agencies except for PEF and PTI will be repealed by the PIGIF.