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FG kicks against job loss in oil and gas sector



Ngige booed trying to defend Buhari’s appointments

In from Ripples Nigeria

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has reiterated the zero tolerance of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to job losses in the oil and gas or any other sector of the economy, assuring that any threat to industrial harmony must be nipped in the bud.

The Minister spoke in Abuja on Wednesday while addressing a crucial meeting with National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Petroleum and National Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and contractors in the oil and gas sector.

“We all know that the backbone of the Nigerian economy for now is still the oil and gas sector. As the Minister of Labour and Employment, I am committed to forestalling any issue that could bring industrial unrest in the sector or threaten job security in the country,” he said.

The current administration, he stressed “Has zero tolerance for any form of job loss. If the oil and gas sector or any other sector for that matter cannot create new jobs, they must go the extra mile to retain the existing ones. Any job loss has multiple adverse effects on the population. ”

While acknowledging that he had received petitions which border on industrial and employment relations – retrenchment, casualisation, redundancy as well as unfair treatment of Nigerians in the employ of the oil majors, Ngige said he was compelled to hold the interface and discussion session in order to acquaint himself with the views of the stakeholders.

Speaking on the vexed expatriate quota issue, the Minister said the ministry was already in liaison with the Ministry of Interior to check the abuse of the nation’s immigration/Labour laws and promised that the displacement of qualified Nigerians by foreigners would soon become a thing of the past.

Echoing similar sentiments, the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Chief James Ocholi, SAN, harped on the proactiveness of the ministry to the sustenance of industrial peace and harmony, stressing that the economic realities on ground have made any job cut very unpalatable in view of its negative consequences to Nigerians.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Dr. Clement Iloh, in his contribution, regretted that the Oil and Gas Guidelines have become obsolete and should therefore be enhanced through the promulgation of a Ministerial Regulation so as to boost stability and sanity in the industry. He further said that many recruiters in the sector are yet to register or update their recruiter’s license, urging them to comply.

Responding, President of NUPENG, Comrade Igwe Achese and his counterpart at PENGASSAN, Comrade Francis Johnson, said the drop in the international price of oil was not a tenable reason for the continued enslavement of Nigerian workers through contract staffing and casualisation, arguing that no where in the world are

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