By Victor Ahiuma-Young
PETROLEUM and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has called on government to convey a stakeholdersÂ meeting that willÂ include the two unions- PENGASSAN and the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), to work out appropriate and acceptable template for pricing of petroleum products inn the country.
President of PENGASSAN,in a presentation at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) forum in Lagos, advised government to do all that was possible to develop improve local refining capacity, warning that labour would not support import-driven deregulation.
According to him, â€œUntil corrective measures are in place, government should in collaboration with other stakeholders, including the two unions, PENGASSAN and the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), work out appropriate and acceptable template for pricing of petroleum products.Â This should be developed while local refining is worked on andÂ improved.
NNPC staff should be fully engaged in the repair and maintenance of the four state owned refineries. It was these staff who had never beenÂ found wanting and who are competent that had been carrying out the Turn Around MaintenanceÂ (TAM) of the refineries before past governments started awarding the TAM contracts to contractors. Since the contractors have shown their incompetence through their inability to make the refineries work and used the refineries as a drain pipe to mismanage the nationâ€™s hard earn resources, we believe the staff should be engaged for the TAM of the refineries.
Government must ensure that all the severance benefits and pensions of those retired and those still in the service are settled and guaranteed respectively. For those who will be transferring their employment, government in conjunction with the unions must work out their employment transfer benefits. All employees existing current remuneration, pension and Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) should continue to exist under the new dispensation. Incessant strike and other engagements
As a responsible union, we have observed that most of the strikes resulted from abuse of power by security agencies. We call on the government to ensure that the security agencies perform their duties responsibly but not to be harassing our members.
All independent marketers and indigenous oil companies should also adhere to the right of the workers to belong to union and have a CBA in place to allow for meaningful engagement, safe work environment and protection of workers rights. Government should meet its obligations in terms of payment to all stakeholders.
All investors should imbibe and ensureÂ good corporate governance in the system. We need to put in place comprehensive disciplinary measures for defaulter. There should also be dependable, effective and functional supervisory agency.â€