The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has called on the National Assembly to expedite action on the Petroleum Industry Administration, Petroleum Industry Fiscal and Petroleum Host Community Bills in order to realise the benefits of the intended oil and gas reforms.
In a message by its President, Comrade Francis Olabode Johnson, PENGASSAN said the passage of the bills would revolutionise the sector.
Hailing the lawmakers for the passage of the first part of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), known as the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), he said: “We must all stand against contract and casual employment as well as off-shoring of jobs, which is tactically and steadily taking over permanent employment and increasing in Nigeria while most jobs that domicile in Nigeria are done outside the country.
“The government should step up security of lives as well as oil and gas infrastructure, curb pipeline vandalism and the attendant crude oil and petroleum products theft, ensure optimal functioning of the refineries to increase local refining, provide investment-friendly environment for private investors in the downstream sector to encourage investment and drive down job losses in the oil and gas operations in the country.
“We are, therefore, reiterating our call for a stakeholders’ forum for the purpose of holistically examining the challenges confronting the nation’s oil and gas industry and proffer solutions to the problems.”
In a related event, PENGASSAN has called on the Federal and Rivers State governments to end illegal refineries causing soot in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
According to the union, the soot, in the form of thick black smoke which covers the entire Port Harcourt city, could be the cause of some of the respiratory problems being experienced by inhabitants of the city.
In a statement by the PENGASSAN National Public Relations Officer, Mr. Fortune Obi, the association said the soot was not getting any serious attention because most of the people affected were still performing their daily tasks while they swim in this soot that has been confirmed by experts to be carcinogenic.
“The black soot settles on everything and finds its way into the corners of living rooms no matter how hard people try to stop it. Food items in Port Harcourt markets are as well not spared from getting mixed with this deadly soot that is ever present everywhere,” he stated.
Obi said PENGASSAN in collaboration with other concerned bodies and citizens had created awareness to call the attention of the government to act swiftly and put an end the source of the killer soot.
Source: The Nation