The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) have indicated their intention to join the planned strike by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria.
PENGASSAN, on Monday, directed its members to prepare for strike from Thursday, today, over some unresolved industry issues with the Federal Government. According to the statement from PENGASSAN, the association tried to engage the Federal Government on May 24, 2016, which was inconclusive.
The engagement was later fixed for June 23, 2016, which did not take place and again on June 30, 2016, which was cancelled with no new date given.
In other to forestall a total breakdown in the sector, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige and Minister of State, Petroeleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu are scheduled to meet with representatives of PENGASSAN over the planned strike today.
In a statement endorsed by the Deputy Director (Press) in the Ministry, Mr. Samuel Olowookere, the crucial meeting was being convened to find a lasting solution to the lingering problems in the oil and gas sector.
According to the National Public Relation Officer, PENGASSAN, Comrade Emmanuel Ojugbana, members of the group met in all the zones to fine-tune the strategies and modalities for the strike.
“The action, which will cripple all activities and operations in the oil and gas sector, will affect all the sub sectors as our members in the DPR, PPPRA, Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Monitoring Board) PEF (MB), Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), oil majors, labour and contract services companies, and petroleum products marketing companies will join in the action.”
He appealed for the understanding of all Nigerians and operators that will be impacted by the action, saying the industrial action is critical to the survival of the oil and gas industry, which according to him, currently is the mainstay of the nation’s economy.
The Rivers State Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), and former National Industrial Relations Officer of PENGASSAN, Chika Onuegbu, said all branches of the union were on high alert waiting for the directive of the national executives.
Onuegbu said: “PENGASSAN and its members have been facing challenges due to the mass sack of its members by various oil and gas companies and that companies have been facing serious challenges due to slump in oil prices, militant attacks.”