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Oil workers to FG: revive Nigeria’s refineries

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has implored the Federal Government to increase the nation’s local refining capacity and remove all observed encumbrances to full rehabilitation of all the four refineries.

The Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, had in his new year statement said successive administrations in Nigeria didn’t do Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) on the four refineries.

Arising from the Association’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State recently, the oil workers advised the government to initiate a more workable and sustainable intervention by incorporating more investors into local refining.

The association in a statement issued at the end of the meeting frowned at the conflicting pronouncements over inadequate funding and crude supply as well as staff attrition challenges which are currently hindering smooth operations of the refineries and as a way out advocated for an increase in crude supply, raising of the funding levels and the employment of more qualified manpower.

It picked holes on the current operating model of the refineries which it described as unsustainable and therefore advocated for the adoption of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Business model after the Refineries must have been rehabilitated for them to yield better dividends to the Nation’s economy.

On modular and private Refineries, the association urged the government to immediately revoke the licenses issued to non-practicing companies and individuals and re-issue same to operators with technical and financial capabilities, while the promised establishment of modular refineries by the government should be vigorously pursued.

It commended the efforts of the Federal Government through the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at ensuring adequacy and consistent supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) throughout the festive season.

The union condemned what it described as the lingering anti-labour practice perpetrated by some indigenous oil companies operating in the country against their employees, especially Nigerian workers.

It listed Forte Oil, Seplat, AITEO and NIPCO as being amongst the worst abusers of the Nation’s labour laws and therefore vowed to resist their nefarious acts on the workers who are also citizens of Nigeria.

According to PENGASSAN, these oil and gas companies are notorious in the practice of casualisation, contract staffing, outsourcing and off-shoring of jobs as well as other unfair labour practices and under-hand tactics in their Labour relations activities.