MANAGEMENT of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) has urged its staff and members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) to prime itself for the challenges that will come with the deregulation of the downstream sub-sector of the oil industry.
Mrs. Adefunke Kasali, the Executive Secretary of the PEF gave the charge while speaking at a management meeting in Abuja, whileÂ receiving the new leadership of the Boardâ€™s branch of PENGASSAN, led by Mohammed Seyi Gambo.
She said the commencement of full deregulation of the downstream posed a major challenge to the Board.
â€œWe, as an agency of the government, must ensure we continue to discharge our duties with responsibility and pride, even in the post_regulation PEFMB, no matter what happens.
â€œWe will also continue to support all the policies and programmes of government, including the seven_point agenda, the policy on deregulation and zero tolerance to corruption,â€ Kasali said.
She said the staff should regard themselves as â€œthe children of the governmentâ€ and entertain no fear, whatsoever, because the government would not â€œabandon or alienateâ€ them as a result of on_going reforms in the oil and gas industry. â€œAs children of government, whatever happens and no matter as it affects you, I am very confident that government can not leave us in the lurch. The Federal Government cannot abandon us.
â€œThe union should be confident that government will take care of its personnel anywhere. We are here (at PEFMB) today because it pleases the government. If they want us elsewhere, there shall we be,â€ Kasali said.
The chief executive, in what seemed like a pro_active sensitization of her branch PENGASSAN, said: â€œhelp us to communicate the point to members. Let us continue to discuss issues openly as they arise.â€
â€œAt the appropriate time, we shall be communicated (by the government) and as we receive directives, the management shall communicate to you accordingly.â€œThe doors of communication are open and two_way,â€ Kasali said.
She congratulated the new executive council and pledged to work closely and harmoniously with the team.She said her management worked very well with the out_going team and urged Gambo to build on that platform.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls Petroleum Resources Minister Rilwanu Lukman as saying that deregulation of the petroleum downstream was inevitable and thatÂ the commencement date remained a matter of time.
â€œWe have virtually come to an agreement with all the major stakeholders that we have to go ahead with deregulation.
â€œThe question is not whether we will do it; it is not if but when. It is a matter of timing. It is the timing,â€ Lukman said.
Meanwhile, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after the meeting, Gambo said he would be guided by the principles of partnership in progress.
â€œWe will work with the management and promote industrial harmony and the corporate well-being of members and the Board.
â€œWe will build on the structures we inherited, be prudent and accommodating. The Executive Secretary has effective ways of doing things. Basically, she is doing well.â€œIf she does more, we will have no union to run,â€ Gambo said.