By Victor Ahiuma-Young
NIGERIA Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has told President Muhammadu Buhari, that only a total overhauling and amendment of Nigeria Contents Monitoring and Development Board, NCMDB, Act will make it achieve its aims.
The union also decried the continued importation of petroleum products into the country, pipeline vandalism, crude and products theft among others, pleading with the president to ensure the full completion of the much-anticipated reforms and passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the National Executive Council, NEC, members of NUPENG to President Buhari at the state house, President of the Union, Prince Williams Akporeha, among others, informed the president of the challenges in the sector, saying “the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry has for several years now been in dire need of comprehensive reforms to engender transparency, accountability and appreciable returns on investment, unfortunately, the much-anticipated reforms from the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, have been hanging in the air due to one controversy or the other. It is therefore our hope and expectation that your midas hands will reach this seemingly intractable matter and resolve it for the good of our industry and the nation in general.
“In the same vein, the continuing dependence on importation of petroleum products for consumption in this country is really a matter of serious concern to us. We are deeply worried and bothered that as a country and one of the largest producers of crude oil and gas, we are dependent on other nations to refine our petroleum products. Without any doubt, every patriotic citizen of this country should be worried. Our refineries for several part of this year have not been working, leaving our members redundant, coupled with capital flight occasioned by the importation. We are exporting jobs to countries that are refining these products for us. We earnestly urge your Excellency to rescue these refineries and make them work again.
“The ways and manner the provisions of Local Contents Monitoring and Development Act, is being executed in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry vis a vis, the increasing wave of indecent and precarious employment in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry can best be described as a disappointment and inadvertently contributing to making young Nigerian graduates desperate and frustrated to the extent of embarking on suicidal migration to Europe and America.
It is worthy to note that the unions in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry worked tirelessly to see to the passage into law of the Nigeria Contents Monitoring and Development Board, NCMDB, Act, because it was anticipated that it would aid and support the protection of the rights and job interests of Nigerian workers. Unfortunately, the reverse is the situation because there is the erroneous perception that the intention of the Act is to create as many indigenous contractors as possible without minding the nature of jobs these contractors are giving to Nigerians. Even your executive order of Nigeria first on employment issues is being brazenly disregarded.