The Federal Government and key stakeholders in the oil and gas sector have been urged to accord priority attention to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) outcome especially as it relates to labour issues and workers’ welfare.
Speaking to The Tide in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, the Chairman, PIB Committee of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Comrade Chika Onuegbu urged the Federal Government and key stakeholders to give the bill the necessary priority attention as the PIB outcome would help to strengthen the operations of the oil and gas sector as well as the future of Nigerian workers.
Onuegbu said that the PIB should be carefully examined to ensure that the provisions about staff transfers from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other impacted subsidiaries are strictly adhered to without breaching such provisions in the bill.
He said that the 2012 NUPENG and PENGASSAN Joint National Committee on the PIB had emphasized the need to address the shortcoming of privatisation on workers in the post PIB era to ensure that no staff of NNPC loses his or her job or be allowed to be transferred on a condition of service that is less favourable than what they currently have under any guise.
Onuegbu, who was the immediate past chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Rivers State chapter, said that the current PENGASSAN PIB Committee has adopted the previous position of the committee, stressing that the provisions in the PIGIF are better than that of the 2012 PIB.
The labour leader urged the Federal Government to streamline its plan to change the ownership structure of the establishments in the petroleum sector, including asset sales, divestment and complete handover of its percentages and not to leave behind labour issues that would precipitate major industrial crisis within the oil and gas industry.