The leadership of two unions in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, the National Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association have called for the accelerated passage of Petroleum Industry Bill.
At a joint press conference in the Lagos State on Thursday under the aegis of NUPENGASSAN, the President of PENGASSAN, Babatunde Ogun, who spoke on behalf of the bodies, lamented the slow pace at which the PIB is moving in the National Assembly.
Comrade Ogun lamented that over a year after the PIB was presented to the National Assembly, not much has been done.
He said: “The PIB was presented to the National Assembly in July 2012.
“From then till now, almost a year, not much has been done by the National Assembly.
“The bill was recently referred to ad-hoc committees after passing the second reading stage in both houses.
“Even the Senate is yet to inaugurate its ad-hoc committee while the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee is still making preparations for public hearing.
“NUPENG and PENGASSAN demand that the National Assembly expedite action on the passage of the bill.”
Comrade Ogun stated that the country cannot afford the luxury of time while politicians indulge in unnecessary bickering over such an important bill in a sector that is the main stay of her economy and which accounts for over 90 per cent of her foreign exchange earnings.
He added: “We believe the PIB represents a great opportunity for Nigeria to ensure a solid foundation on which the future of oil and gas operations will rest.”
The two bodies also demanded for their inclusion in the Boards of the National Petroleum Inspectorate, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Petroleum Equalisation Fund, National Petroleum Assets Management Corporation, National Oil Company, National Gas Company and the Petroleum Training Institute.
They lamented the deteriorating security situation in the country, especially killings by Boko Haram.
“We are totally condemning the helplessness of our security agencies to check waves of violence as Nigerians are beginning to lose faith and trust the government,” Ogun said.
Among those at the news briefing were the President of NUPENG Igwe Achese; Emmanuel Adamu, PENGASSAN deputy president; Asuquo Okon, NUPENG deputy president; Bayo Olowoshile, general secretary; and Beneth Korie, NUPENG national security coordinator.
Others were T.A Kodoro, NUPENG Lagos zonal chairman; Musa Achimugu, Treasurer; Zaid Kolawole, PRO PENGASSAN; and Musa Lawal, secretary-general, Trade Union Congress.