•Decry worsening insecurity in Nigeria

By Victor Ahiuma-Young

The increasing security challenges confronting the country have been of serious concern to well-meaning Nigerians and groups. And one such groups is the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN.

Another issue of worry to the association is increasing management impunity and failure to honour Collective Bargaining Agreements, CBA, entered into with the workers. The association said it can no longer accept such impunity.

Speaking at the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of PENGASSAN, its President, Festus Osifo, told the gathering that “the leadership under my watch is focused on its commitment to strengthening the image of the association in order to maintain our relevance, not just in the Oil and Gas industry in particular, but the nation as a whole. We must remain committed to the ideals of pragmatic unionism while living up to the expectations as the senior staff and strategic players in the Oil and Gas industry.

“As part of our 2022 roadmap, we shall intensify efforts and advocacies in confronting some management and organisations that fail to honour CBAs entered into with the workers with all legal and constitutional means at our disposal. To this end, branches should furnish the National Secretariat with details of any reneging and uncooperative management for immediate action.

“Our focus and commitment remain to bequeath a legacy of a united and cohesive PENGASSAN, where members’ jobs, welfare and well-being shall be paramount. In our progression towards achieving industrial harmony in our industry, we shall continue to initiate moves to accommodate all members and their divergent views, while urging members to support the ongoing efforts by the leadership of the association.”

On increasing insecurity, Osifo called for a security summit by the government for stakeholders to review the security situation in the country and follow up with implementation of the expert suggestions, saying: “Insecurity is one area we have repeatedly made various suggestions and condemnation but regrettably, no tangible improvement has been recorded. As a responsible association that is passionate about the safety of our members and Nigerians, we recently organised a Security Awareness Campaigns in our four Zonal Councils with a grand finale in Abuja, where experts made far-reaching suggestions on how to improve our security situation.

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“During the programme, various areas that need improvements were identified by security experts. As part of our Social Corporate Responsibility, CSR, we rewarded some selected outstanding security personnel across the zones.

“Presently, we have gotten to a point where our vulnerable school children have continued to be targets of kidnapping; some are gruesomely murdered even after ransom payment. One wonders what kind of future we are bequeathing if we cannot protect the next generation, especially our students. Our farmers can no longer go to their farmland, motorists are afraid to ply our roads and it has gotten to a point where no one is safe anymore in our dear country.

“We suggest that a security summit should be urgently convened by the Government, where we can review the security situation in our nation and follow up with implementation of the expert suggestions. Also, we call for enquiry into the funding of all the security agencies with a view to ensuring that the funds meant for them are judiciously utilised and where under-funding is noticed, increase same.

“More importantly, we call for review in the recruitment process into our security agencies and also, a calculated plan towards intelligence gathering through modern technology deployment. This will present a proactive approach in dealing with the security challenges across the country.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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