By Progress Okpalaebule
Warri— Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has threatened to shut down the oil industry over perceived moves to reduce the regulatory powers of Nigerian Petroleum Investment Management Services Limited, NAPIMS, in the new petroleum policy approved by the Federal Executive Council.
Describing the move as inimical to the nation’s oil sector, NUPENG’s General Secretary, Mr. Joseph Ogbebor, in a statement, yesterday, in Warri, Delta State, said: “We will resist the move to strip NAPIMS of its responsibility of regulatory costing of projects and using an independent consultant.
“We kick against it because of the past failures of government restructuring and privatisation process of PHCN and others.
“This is a way of robbing Peter to pay Paul by pushing the costing of projects to an independent regulator, which will emerge from the restructuring of the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR.
“The move is self-serving, selfish, unjustifiable, not workable, uncalled for and meant to serve the interest of the promoter and will do the oil and gas industry no good. We, therefore, call for its stoppage forthwith or else we may be forced to embark on an industrial action to reverse the trend.”
NUPENG believes that the process will not be transparent and can be teleguided. NAPIMS was established to manage the Federal Government’s investments and interests in the upstream sector of the country’s oil industry had done well in its regulatory functions with all the ten divisions working and it should therefore not be used as a blackmail to score cheap political points.
“We therefore, call on the Federal Government to jettison the plan and not gazette it as it is meant to satisfy certain selfish interests and not for the sector to move forward. NUPENG will not fold its hands and see any form of restructuring in NAPIMS that will lead to job losses, as it must be resisted.”