By Gift Samuel, The Sight News.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria(PENGASSAN)has urged the Federal government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to expedite the process of rehabilitating the nation’s refineries through investors and financiers.
This is as the Senior Staff Association also implored the Federal government to declare a State of Emergency on the Refineries, stressing that it is the only solution to Nigeria’s unending fuel importation and crisis.
In a communiqué issued after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Warri, Delta State, and signed by the President, Comrade Francis Olabode Johnson, and the General Secretary, Comrade Lumumba Okugbawa, PENGASSAN said that it is worrisome and embarrassing that Nigeria has remained the only OPEC Member country importing fuel and the largest importer in the world.
“The NEC-in-Session frowns at the directive of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating the state of the Nation’s four refineries to halt the process of their proposed Turn-Around maintenance by government/NNPC. The House Committee should provide an immediate alternative to the good proposal, otherwise the process should be allowed to continue in the best interest of the country” the union stated.
While commending the National Assembly for passing the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill(PIGB) into law, PENGASSAN called on the law makers to expedite action on the Petroleum Industry Administration Bill, Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill and the Petroleum Host Community Bill to enable delivery of the full benefits of the intended Oil and Gas Reforms.
According to the communique, “the NEC-in-Session demands that the legal framework in the Bill should allocate a percentage of the production by International Oil Companies (IOC)’s operating in Nigeria for refining in the country through a policy that would compel them to build refineries in Nigeria.
“This is in support of the proposal of the Federal government as announced by the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu at the last Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja”.
Also speaking on the issues of industrial relations, PENGASSAN frowned at the inadequate funding of government agencies such as the NNRA, DPR, PTI, PPPRA and NCDMB and called on the Federal government as well as the National Assembly to amend the legislation and create sources of funding for these agencies, pending their exit from the Federal budget by the year 2020 as directed by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Furthermore, PENGASSAN expressed worries over the delayed payment of subsidy and debts owed oil marketers and called on the Federal government to resolve the differences so as to avert loss of jobs in the country.