THE National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG) has called for speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) in the interest of the country.
The union said it is disappointed that after almost two years in office, the 8th National Assembly is yet to pass the PIGB.
Addressing journalists in Lagos recently, the National President, NUPENG, Comrade Achese Igwe, said the union had examined the progress so far made in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) and other components of the proposed PIB.
“We expressed our disappointment at the slow pace of work in the passage despite the assurances given by the leadership of the National Assembly that the bill will receive accelerated hearing and passage.
“We considered the delay in the passage of the bill to be majorly responsible for the rot in the industry and the slide in the returns accruable from investments made by successive governments and investors.
“We call on the National Assembly to expedite parliamentary actions for speedy passage of the bills for the purpose of engendering transparency, accountability and commensurate returns in the operations of oil and gas sector which we believe will further enhance the visibility and attractiveness of the sector to both foreign and local investors,” he said.
On refineries, he said he noted current calls and agitation by some interested capitalists for the privatization of the nation’s refineries.
“We kick against such moves and advise the federal government to sincerely do the turn around maintenance (TAM) of the refineries and upgrade their systems in order to allow them produce at full capacity. The union believes that this will go a long way to reduce the massive importation of the petroleum products into the country. We also called on the federal government to grant tax holidays and free land for investors who want to establish private refineries,” he said.
NUPENG President commended the federal government on its position on modular refineries and to encourage operators of illegal refineries to be integrated into establishment of modular refineries.
“We advised that the procurement should not be political but matched with actions to train the refiners, put appropriate policies and regulations in place to regulate their operations in order to protect the Eco system from possible negative effects of their activities.
Furthermore, the government should support the refiners with funds necessary for effective and efficient modular refineries which we believe will go a long way in supporting the supply of petroleum products for local consumption and also generate employment opportunities for the restless youths,” he concluded.