Workers in the oil and gas sector on Friday alleged that the huge loss of revenue and investments in the country was due to delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The workers under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) stated this in a communique at the end of its National Executive Council meeting.
The communiqué was signed by Francis Olabode Johnson, PENGASSAN President and its General Secretary, Lumumba Okugbawa in Lagos.
The workers commended the National Assembly’s efforts to pass the Bill, adding that more effort should be made to ensure it was passed.
“The stakeholders (oil workers) will ensure that the lacunas, particularly the adverse labour clauses identified in the Bill are addressed before its passage,’’ it said.
The association condemned the continuous vandalism on pipelines adding that the unfortunate development had caused incalculable economic damage in the sector.
It said that there was the need to create strong security strategies and use of modern equipment to end unnecessary attacks and damaging of nation’s assets.
“We acknowledge efforts of the government to rehabilitate the nation’s refineries, which are in appalling state for optimal delivery.
“We urge the government to give priority to Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) in all the four state-owned refineries as well as rehabilitate depots, jetties, tank farms, pipelines and pump stations,’’ it said.
It said that rehabilitating the depots would ease supply of crude oil to the refineries as well as the evacuation and distribution of refined products nationwide.
The worker also decried the anti-union posture by indigenous oil and gas companies and marginal field operators and resolved to resist any management that infringes on the workers’ Rights to Freedom of Association and Lawful Assembly.
It called on regulatory institutions and business partners (Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources (DPR) NNPC/NAPIMS, International Oil Companies (IOCs), Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to call such companies to order.
The workers urged the government to embark on a number of coordinated steps to resolve some of the problems bedeviling the oil and gas industry.