Gbenga Olawuyi, Lagos
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG) has condemned the plan by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to cut contracting cycle in the Nigeria oil and gas industry from its current stretch of between two to four years to six months.
The Union in a statement signed by its President Comrade Igwe Achese and Acting General Secretary, comrade Joseph Ogbebor argued that the plan is untenable, unnecessary, anti-labour, wicked and will amount to modern day slavery for Oil and Gas Workers
Part of the statement read: “NUPENG states that the cut of contracting cycle to 6 months negates the principle behind the local content policy and the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari on job creation and not short-lived contract employment.
“NUPENG warns that the six months contract cycle will be counterproductive, uneventful, and make a mess of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act and cause unemployment challenges in the sector.
“We, therefore, warn that it will resist the plan cut with all the powers at its disposal as it will lead to depletion of its members who are already emasculated by the current global oil glut and inconsistent policies been paraded by the regulator of the Oil and Gas sector”.
The Union noted that NNPC position that contract cycle of two to four years was a major contributor to the high cost per barrel of Nigerian crude oil compared to other OPEC member countries amounted to self-service and sounds very unpatriotic.
The oil and gas workers’ union stated that the workers in other OPEC countries are given permanent work status with good condition of service as compared to the modern day slavery practiced in Nigeria and encouraged by NNPC that is supposed to be the regulator of operations in the Sector.
According to the Union, the plan to cut contracting cycle to six months is a stab on the face of oil and gas workers who produce the black gold to be tossed around every half of the year on their contract status.
“The Union has been vehement that the two to four years cycle was too short, only for the Minister of State Petroleum Resources to now plan to cut it to six months which will boomerang and lead to major industrial relations crisis in the industry.
“We, therefore, call on the federal government to rescind the decision in order to have a conducive atmosphere for oil and gas workers to work in”, it said.