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NUPENGASSAN raises alarm as FG sidelines unions in PIA steering committee

By Gloria Nwafor, Lagos and Ernest Nzor, Abuja
24 October 2021   |   4:09 am
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have raised the alarm, following what it described as a glaring omission...

• NOA Engages Niger Delta Stakeholders For Effective Implementation
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have raised the alarm, following what it described as a glaring omission by the Federal Government to sideline representatives of the unions in the steering committee of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) transition processes.

This comes as the National Orientation Agency (NOA) recently engaged Niger Delta stakeholders, as part of efforts to promote understanding in the host communities of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) for effective implementation.

The Director-general of NOA, Dr. Garba Abari, disclosed this after a one-day stakeholders’ interactive session on the Act of PIA in Akwa Ibom State, with the theme: “What’s in it for the Community and the Economy?”

NUPENGASSAN, in a statement, believed that being in the committee would have helped to ensure that workers’ interests are adequately protected and treated with equity, fairness, justice and socio-considerations.
 
Signed by General Secretaries of NUPENG, Olawale Afolabi and PENGASSAN, Lumumba Okugbawa, respectively, the unions lamented that they been severally inundated by members and other strategic stakeholders in the industry about their fate, due to non-engagement and dearth of information from the Federal Government.
 
The statement said it was the two unions’ pleasure to see to the successful execution and implementation of the PIA and have taken it as a responsibility to ensure a seamless transition process that is accountable, all-inclusive, equitable, fair, just, transparent and more importantly, to ensure that the interests of the affected and impacted workers and critical stakeholders are adequately catered for and protected during and after the transition.
 
According to the oil workers, the two unions were in the forefront of the struggles for the PIA and will not see it badly executed or be run over by those pretending to possess monopoly of wisdom and knowledge, concerning the execution and implementation of the key clauses of the Act that have direct effects and impacts on the working people in particular and the successful implementation of the Act in general.
 
“Our demands are very clear and unambiguous. They are purely focusing on the good of the working masses in the industry and the national economic growth and development. Since the assent of the PIA, we have consistently conveyed our concerns to government,” it said.
 
In a letter sent to stakeholders in the sector, the unions said it came up with terms of reference to engage in regular interface and engagement with the PIA steering committee for accurate information on decisions and processes concerning staff welfare, job security and transparency in transitions processes of any kind.