The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has advised the Federal Government to desist from its reported plans to scrap the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and other agencies in the oil and gas industry “without proper consultation with the Unions”.
NUPENG on Monday described the agenda as “another attempt by the Government to reduce the workforce in the sector”, adding that it “will be resisted by the Union”.
According to President of the Union, Igwe Achese, “the current back door policy to retrench workers in the Federal Government Corporations will not augur well for the industrial peace and harmony in the oil and gas sector under the guise of a National oil policy”.
The Union reiterated that what is necessary now is to strengthen the companies by granting them autonomy and not to be controlled by red-tapism in Government.
The union explained that “scrapping these bodies and putting them under one umbrella to be known as Petroleum Regulatory Commission (PRC) will be too cumbersome and make the Petroleum Minister too powerful”.
The Union calls on the Federal Government to put pressure on the National Assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which will make the oil and gas industry much more efficient, transparent and accountable and in the long run bring the needed investments in the sector.
NUPENG warns that it will not “tolerate what the Federal Government is presently doing in aviation agencies like NAMA, FAAN, NIMET, where workers are been sacked in the name restructuring”.
The Union advised the National Assembly not to allow the scrapping of NNPC, DPR, and PPPRA as they were set up by law and cannot be scrapped overnight by Government fiat.