From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
THE Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSEN) has insisted on the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law.
PENGASSAN maintained that the PIB, which is before the National Assembly, when passed into law, will improve the reforms in the nation’s oil and gas sector.
President of the oil and gas workers’ union, Comrade Francis Olabode Johnson, who restated this position, said workers have been consulting widely as the nation awaits the passage of the bill.
Olabode who spoke at the 5th triennial Warri zonal delegate conference of PENGASSAN in Asaba, said the workers were in full support of efforts by governments to ensure that the four state refineries worked at optimal capacity even as they welcomed invitation to investors into the refineries.
The PENGASSAN boss therefore called on the government to carry the association along in the process that would lead to bringing the refineries on stream.
Olabode maintained that any employment model or policy that is found to be deceptively exploitative with tendency to degrade jobs as obtained in the casualisation and contract employment would be resisted by the association.
He noted that the sector had been enmeshed in a lot of regulatory and policy inconsistencies, economic, social and political challenges all of which had impacted negatively on operations of the workers, adding that in the midst of the challenges including drop in global oil prices, economic recession and huge divestment by oil companies associated with job losses, the members have remained steadfast.
The outgoing chairman of the association, Warri zone, Comrade Stephen O. Ekakitie, in his remark, frowned at the ebbing security situation in the country, saying that the sheer guts and chilly nature of herdsmen attack nationwide and the helplessness of security agencies were clear signs that all is not well in the country.
“In the face of this security challenges, we urge all our members to be extra vigilant in protecting themselves from security threats,” he admonished.
In his lecture derived from the conference theme ‘Union: A tool for fostering organization growth and stability’ Tajudeen Atanda Bello of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta state observed that the existence of harmonious interactions between labour unions and employers in the work place was essential for high productivity, and ultimately growth and stability of the organisation.
He said resolution of conflicts reinforces the confidence of the workers and encourages them to work harder towards attainment of organisational growth and stability.