How to check oil theft, by PENGASSAN

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Mo­hammed Shosanya,La­gos

Oil work­ers un­der the Petroleum and Nat­u­ral Gas Se­nior Staff As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria (PENGASSAN) has im­plored the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to for­mu­late an ef­fec­tive le­gal frame­work to check oil theft in the coun­try.

The union also said Petroleum In­dus­try Bill(PIB) should be re­assessed, in view of Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari’s de­sire to block leak­ages in the oil and gas sec­tor.

The PENGASSAN Pres­i­dent, Mr Fran­cis Ola­bode John­son, made the call dur­ing a lead­er­ship train­ing or­gan­ised for branch chair­men, sec­re­taries and in­dus­trial re­la­tions of­fi­cers un­der the La­gos, Warri and Kaduna zones of the as­so­ci­a­tion in Benin, Edo State.

A state­ment from the union yesterday quoted John­son as com­mend­ing the pres­i­dent’s ef­fort to en­sure that Nige­ria has func­tional re­finer­ies.

He noted that gov­ern­ment should also con­sider grant­ing li­cences to in­dige­nous in­vestors.

John­son said, “Let the gov­ern­ment come out with a strong le­gal frame­work that can sta­bilise the in­dus­try. So, you can look at giv­ing Nige­ri­ans more li­cences; let Nige­ri­ans build re­finer­ies be­cause they can also cre­ate jobs. When you have a le­gal frame­work for oil and gas, the is­sue of pipeline van­dal­ism and state of our re­finer­ies will be taken care of.”

He said the as­so­ci­a­tion was wor­ried by the at­ti­tude of ma­jor oil firms, who ac­cord­ing to him, take ad­van­tage of fall­ing crude oil price while ex­clud­ing its mem­bers.

He, there­fore, urged the pres­i­dent to con­sider calls for diver­si­fi­ca­tion in or­der to en­sure a sta­ble and sus­tain­able econ­omy.

The union leader said, “In­ter­na­tional Oil Com­pa­nies (IOCs) should not take ad­van­tage of the fall­ing crude oil price to sack work­ers. You can­not say that be­cause there is a fall in crude oil price, which is some­thing that is tem­po­rary and fluc­tu­at­ing, you want to make our mem­bers re­dun­dant and you are em­ploy­ing new peo­ple as con­tract or ca­sual work­ers. It is not ac­cept­able to us. We want to ap­peal to the gov­ern­ment that, in view of the fluc­tu­at­ing crude oil prices, it must also be look­ing at di­ver­si­fy­ing.”

Ear­lier, the Na­tional In­dus­trial Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer of the as­so­ci­a­tion, Mr. Ndukaku Ohaeri, said the train­ing was aimed at pro­vid­ing mod­ern skills for mem­bers of the union to en­able them man­age in­dus­trial con­flicts at all lev­els.

Ohaeri said: “We be­lieve that if we give them the right train­ing, they will be bet­ter equipped to han­dle is­sues at the ba­sic level. And if that is done, we will not have many prob­lems at the zonal and na­tional lev­els.

Of­ten times, we talk about in­dus­trial ac­tions that could ground the econ­omy. The only way to solve such prob­lems is to go to the grass­roots.”

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