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FG, oil workers to continue meeting Tuesday

FG, oil workers to continue meeting Tuesday
July 12
10:37 2016
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The meeting between the federal government and oil workers’ unions in Abuja on Monday ended in deadlock and will continue on Tuesday.

The unions are the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum Natural Gas Workers( NUPENG).

Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, said the meeting was moved to Tuesday due to the absence of officials of some international and local oil companies(IOC).

Kachikwu said the meetings were collaborative and frank, adding that all the necessary issues were handled and conclusions were reached.

He, however, said that one issue could not be addressed at the meeting, hence the decision to conclude deliberations on that issue on Tuesday.

Commenting on bad roads leading to the refineries, which was one one of the issues, he said they intend to undertake the repairs of the roads in conjunction with the ministry of power, works and housing.

Also, Chris Ngige, minister of labour and productivity, said that the meeting was adjourned till Tuesday due to the absence of IOCs.

Ngige said IOCs absence made it impossible to discuss the issue of unfair labour practices which the labour officials claimed was prevalent in the industry.

He also said the federal government made efforts to provide the workers with information on the various issues that needed clarifications.

The issues, he said, included joint venture cash calls, collective bargaining agreement in their condition of services, issues of emoluments and the Petroleum Industry Bill, (PIB).

He said that one major items of contention was the issue of Joint Venture cash Calls, which had reduced investment and forced the companies to close down and lay off workers.

“The meeting will continue tomorrow to deliberate on the issue of unfair labour practices in the petroleum sector,” he said.

“The meeting will include officials of IOC, and indigenous oil companies which were accused of laying off workers without going through the normal redundancy clause in the Labour laws.”

“The meeting was not inconclusive. What we discussed at the Monday meeting was in our time table, because we could not discuss everything in one day.”

“Why we did not conclude it today is because the IOCs are not here. We did not invite them today.”

He expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting so far, and said that the oil workers were expected to meet with their various National Executive Committees, where the discontinuation of the strike mighty be announced.

Responding, Olabode Johnson, president of PENGASSAN, said the meeting ended in deadlock

“We did not adjourn the meeting because the meeting was deadlocked, we had to push it forward to tomorrow because we wanted to fine-tune the areas of discussion,” he said

“The issues we discussed included the need to curb the anti-labour practices in the sector and the payment of cash calls and the way going forward.

“We also discussed the rehabilitation of the roads that lead to the Warri refinery as well as that of the Mosimi. We also deliberated on the PIB and the need for government to move quickly to ensure its passage.”

He commended the federal government for the “high-powered delegation” it sent to the meeting.

Maikanti Baru, the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was present at the meeting.

Also present were officials of NUPENG and PENGASSAN, Ita Enang, the senior special assistant to the president on national assembly matters, representative of the minister of power, works and housing, and representative of the attorney general of the federation. (NAN)

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