LABOUR PENGASSAN tasks FG on multinationals NSITF M/D calls for social protection of deprived non-compliance to agreement Nigerians
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has implored the federal government to take stringent measures to curb a situation where agencies and oil companies carry on their activities as if they are more powerful and not answerable to the government.
President of PENGASSAN, Comrade Francis Olabode Johnson, stated this at the 3rd Women in PENGASSAN National Conference held in Abuja.
He said that such an attitude is not acceptable to the union as unions in general are representatives of the people.
He said, “We have been having series of meetings with the government team. You cannot have an agreement with the minister standing in for the President of the Federal Republic, and when it’s time to take action, you say no. We only suspended our strike, if these issues are not addressed properly, we may have to resume the strike. Though we don’t like taking that route. That is why we are imploring every agency of government that whatever agreement reached must be respected. We will abide by our side of the agreement but if they are not ready to honour theirs, we will have no choice than to resume our suspended strike.’’
On the agreement reached to recall sacked workers in the oil sector, he said, “We had an understanding, but today what we are hearing is that some of them are reneging, especially Fugro Nig Ltd. I must be specific here. They are reneging. If the minister who is standing in for Mr President took a decision and they are reneging, that is an affront on the president of Nigeria. If you know you have no respect for the President then you pack your things and get out of the country.’’
Comrade Olabode also said that the leadership of PENGASSAN was going to meet with the federal government over the threat issued by the Avengers to oil workers.
Comrade Olabode warned that the group’s threats should not be taken lightly by the government.
“We are having a meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment. In view of the issue on ground, this is something we should take as priority. Whatever the issue, let government look for a way to fast track everything and discuss so that there can be peace in this country.
“This is not time for us to start destroying ourselves and our properties and oil installations. We all need to work together as a country so that Nigeria can rise from the ashes of what we are going through,” said the PENGASSAN. The Managing Director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Ismail Agaka, has called on the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the social protection sector to develop programmes that suit the purpose of the socially deprived Nigerians.
Agaka noted that there are many forms of social protection initiatives and programmes spread across more than 10 government agencies and that it is the responsibility of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to factors in issues such as the displaced people in their operations.
He further called for synergy of the various activities of the MDAs to ensuring that the targeted people feel the impacts of such programmes and initiatives.
The NSITF helmsman stated this while donating relief materials to the Karmajiji IDP camp in a suburb of Abuja.
While acknowledging that the government must be assisted by all the segments of the society in the midst of dwindling resources accruing to the country, he stressed that the donation is a part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) of the NSITF and not an obligation towards the IDPS, saying the mandate of the Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS) does not cover the informal sector under which most of the IDPs fall.
He said: “At the moment and the way the law that establishes Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS) is structured, the NSITF cannot provide any social protection to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) because an employee has to come under the cover of an employer, but we do have a corporate social responsibility as an agency.”
He also called for the creation of a Special Fund to provide succour to the Internally Displaced Persons.