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PENGASSAN Calls On Buhari To Declare State Of Emergency In The Oil Sector, After Inauguration



By Chris Nomjov

Senior staff workers in the oil and gas sector have called on the in-coming administration of Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency, in the industry to address the perennial problems crippling the petroleum industry.

The workers, under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), said that all sub-sectors of the oil and gas industry are going through one problem or the other that are not only drawing down the sector but the entire national economy.

In a statement signed by the union’s President, Francis Johnson, the workers opined that there are many issues, which require urgent attention of the in-coming government to reposition the industry for efficient and effective delivery of its benefits to Nigerians.

Besides, he noted that there was need for the in-coming government to call an all-inclusive stakeholders’ forum of those involved in operations in the sector to critically examine and proffer workable and enduring solutions to all the problems in the larger interest of the Nigerian nation.

“All the sub-sectors of the oil and gas industry have one challenge or the other and all these challenges are affecting the delivery of the benefits of our God-given hydrocarbon resources to the country and the entire people of Nigeria.

“These challenges are as a result of past neglects, wrong policies and policy summersault in some areas of the sub-sectors. All these are inflicting pains on Nigerians who ought to be enjoying the benefits of the natural resources that God bequeathed to the country,” Johnson said.

He listed some of the challenges to include pipeline vandalisation, crude oil theft, state of the refineries, intractable and persistent scarcity of petroleum products, subsidy payment controversies, divestment, illegal transfer or allocation of oil blocks, irregular Joint Venture (JV) funding with emphasis on delay in cash call payment, inadequate funding of government agencies in the oil and gas sector and undue interference in the management of government agencies.

Just two days ago, PENGASSAN and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) had directed employees of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to shut down indefinitely their locations and all oil production facilities nationwide in a bid to force the minister of petroleum resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and the federal government to reverse the transfer of operatorship of OMLs 42, 40 and 30.

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