UFOMBA UZUEGBU, Asst. News Editor.
National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has expressed concern over the continuous and increasing spate of redundancies and closures in the nation’s oil and gas industry.Rising from its Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting held in Lagos weekend, the union described the situation as disturbing.
The CWC in session also expressed worry over the helplessness of the supervising ministries in intervening and apprehending unfortunate slide in the employment situations in the industry with several job losses despite the assurance and directive of the Minister of Labour and Productivity , Dr. Chris Ngige.
A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting called on the Federal Government to urgently intervene to stem the tide and prevail on the IOC’s and service companies to stop the current spate of retrenchment and redundancies in the sector.
On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the union frowned at the slow pace of work in the passage of the Bill despite the assurance given by the leadership of the National Assembly that the Bill would receive accelerated hearing and passage.
The communiqué signed on behalf of the union by Comrades Igwe Achese and Joseph Ogbebor President and General Secretary, respectively, read: “The CWC-in- session calls on the National Assembly to expedite parliamentary actions for speedy passage of the bill for the purposes of engendering transparency, accountability and commensurate returns in the operations of Oil and Gas sector, which the CWC-in- session believes will further enhance the visibility and attractiveness of the sector to both foreign and local investors”.
On the current calls and agitation by some interested capitalists for the privatization of the nation’s four refineries, the communiqué said: “We ‘kick against such moves and advise the Federal Government to sincerely do the Turn-Around Maintenance (TAM) of the refineries and upgrade their systems in order to allow them produce at full capacity.
“The CWC believes that this will go a long way to reduce the massive importation of petroleum products into the country. The CWC-in-Session also calls on the Federal Government to grant tax holidays and free land for investors who want to establish private refineries.
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