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PIB is anti-labour, says PENGASSAN

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The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), has expressed its displeasure over the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), saying it is against the interest of the workers.

Specifically, the group argued that it is crossed with the new proposal because it fears it will lead to job loss, especially workers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

In a statement issued on Wednesday on behalf of the body by the PENGASSAN acting General Secretary, Comrade Lumumba Okugbawa, he said the proposed draft institutional and legal frameworks for reforms in the oil and gas industry by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu is not in the national interest.

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The PENGASSAN scribe, who commended the renewed effort by the minister to rejuvenate the reforms after several failed attempts in the past, noted that PENGASSAN has always been in support of the reforms in the oil and gas industry but with a caveat that it must be transparently done to make sure that stakeholders in the oil and gas industry are carried along.

He, however, added that PENGASSAN will not support any reform that jeopardises the welfare of its members, noting that the restructuring will be resisted if it negatively affects the association’s members.

While commenting on the plan to sack half of the current NNPC employees, Okugbawa said the plan, if carried out, will further compound the unemployment situation in the country, adding that there is nothing wrong with the unbundling of the NNPC to bring about greater efficiency and effectiveness, but must be done with a human face.

“We have said it on many occasions that the problem of the NNPC is not the workers but the high level of political interference in the corporation and we are satisfied that the current government has promised to give the corporation free hand to operate for better service delivery to the Nigerian nation,” he said.

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