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Government PENGASSAN begin negotiations, union to suspend action

By Collins Olayinka Abuja
07 July 2016   |   4:04 am
There are indications that the proposed strike action by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) scheduled to begin today may be suspended to pave way for negotiations with the Federal Government.
PENGASSAN

PENGASSAN

There are indications that the proposed strike action by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) scheduled to begin today may be suspended to pave way for negotiations with the Federal Government.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr. Clement Illoh told The Guardian in Abuja yesterday that the negotiations would take place at 10a.m this morning in the conference room of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources located on the 10th floor of the NNPC Towers in Abuja.

He added that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige would be joined by his Minister of State for Petroleum Resources counterpart, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu in the negotiations.

National Public Relations Officer of PENGASSAN, Emmanuel Ojugbana, said the action, which may disrupt all activities and operations in the oil and gas sector, will affect all the sub sectors as our members in the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Monitoring Board) PEF (MB), Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), oil majors, labour and contract services companies, and petroleum products marketing companies will join in the action.

PENGASSAN blamed failure of the Federal Government to honour agreements contained in May 12, 2016 communiqué as the reason for calling for the strike. The association stated that several efforts to engage government in talks to prevent the strike were frustrated.

Acting General Secretary of PENGASSAN, Lumumba Okugbawa, said, “We see this as a deliberate attempt by the government to frustrate the discussion of the myriad of issues raised in the communiqué, which are critical to the survival of the oil and gas industry in the country.”

Among the burning issues raised is that of the JV Funding/Cash Call arrears, which has stalled new investments and the creation of jobs in the industry and which has consequently brought about massive job losses in the industry, among others.