By Victor Ahiuma-Young & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
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 the aim and purposes of the act.
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 some of the challenges in the sector, lamented that “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 be described as a disappointment and inadvertently contributing to making young Nigerian graduates 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 blazingly disregarded.
“It will interest you to know that, multi-national and indigenous oil companies are no longer employing young Nigerian Technical, Vocational, Polytechnic and University graduates on permanent basis. The general practice now is indecent and precarious employment.
“The rights, benefits and jobs security of these hapless Nigerians are being denied and violated, including but not limited to freedom to belong to the Trade Union. It is our prayers therefore, for your Presidential directive to ensure that a key condition in securing contracts in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry should be readiness to employ at least 75% of all cadres on permanent basis and also allow all workers to freely associate with any registered Trade Union in the Industry.
“We wish to further appeal to Mr. President to overhaul and amend the NCMDB Act for inclusion of decent jobs and other stockholders.
“The challenge of petroleum pipelines vandalism is also of critical concern to our Union. We are seriously bothered about the quantity of products theft and its accompanied revenue loss to the nation.”
“The act of economic sabotage called pipelines rupturing, resulting in the forceful abandonment of the country Petroleum products strategic depots is turning these places into economic deserts and further deepening the poverty levels of Nigerians.”