The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PANGASSAN) yesterday in Asaba, Delta State, berated the National Assembly for unnecessary delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). It alleged that the delay had been causing havoc in the oil industry.
President of the union, Olabode Johnson, who disclosed that the licensing bid rounds had been on hold since 2013, as some of these OPLs and OMLs have expired, said: “The inability to hold the licensing bid rounds will definitely impact on jobs in the industry. Our great association will soon evolve other methods of engaging the Executive and National Assembly to get the PIB passed as soon as possible because it is expedient to note that the nation loses hundreds of millions of dollars to the continued delay of the passage.”
PENGASSAN president, represented by Abel Agali at a workshop organised by the union, stressed the need for the union members to reflect on the high level of insecurity and challenges facing them in the performance of their duties. He appealed to the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, to co-operate with the Federal Government and embrace the peaceful initiative as means of resolving their grievances.
According to him: “The resurgence of attacks on oil and gas installations is not about our country’s economic alone but also dwells on damage done to our environment which negatively affects the well-being and health of our people living in communities where installations are damaged.”
In his address, Stephen Ekakite, PENGASSAN Warri Zonal Chairman, said the workshop was organised to expose the role of employers and Labour in nation-building, especially as it was designed for management members of staff in the oil and gas industry. He said that apart from the exposure between employers and labour in the nation-building, the workshop would reach an agreement as a way of curtailing the undue process of dispute resolution, foster a better understanding and enduring relationship among the key industrial and labour relation players.
Also, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, represented by the Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mr. Mofe Pirah, urged the labour-union relationship to carry everybody on board in the collective bargaining process as a guarantee that the workers would abide by all the decisions reached.