PENGASSAN says strike continues until…

THE Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), on Monday, insisted that the ongoing strike must continue until after the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the association billed to hold today, Tuesday in Abuja.

The National President of the association, Comrade Olubode Johnson, who told newsmen shortly after their meeting with the Federal Government`s representatives on the ongoing strike in Abuja, said, although, the meeting was successful and the PENGASSAN had a robust discussion, there was still the need to have a round table deliberation with members of NEC would give the go ahead for the strike.

According to him, “for us, we first want to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for the high delegation here. We had a robust discussion and I know that the NEC members who gave the go ahead for this strike are on their way to Abuja.

“After the meeting tomorrow (today), we are going to sit together and do the needful. If we are satisfied with the engagement, the sincerity and openness, definitely we will address the members of the press,” he added.

Also speaking, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, said the meeting was collaborative, frank and solution seeking, saying most of the key areas were able to touch and a compromise was reach.

“All the issues we planned to handle today, we handled. We reached conclusion. The one singular item will said from point one that we are going to handle tomorrow (today) will be handled tomorrow (today). But the relationship was very cordial and we sought solutions together”, he stated.

In his own, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngigie explained that the government provided PENGASSAN with very useful information on issues that it needed clarification.

According to him, “we only have one matter outstanding and that matter will be addressed tomorrow (today) because the IOCs are not here. A lot the companies have undertaken by their allegations unfair labour practices laying people off without going through the normal redundancy clouses and even rosticating people who are official members of unions.

“We felt it is not very just, people cannot be slaves because they are working. So, that meeting will be held in my office tomorrow (Tuesday) and an amicable solution would be found.

“the issues, as you know, range from JVC cash calls, they felt because the Federal Government has not paid and so was making the IOCs not to invest more and closing down and laying down workers.

“We looked at the issue of collective bargain agreement (CBA) for NNRA, PTI, PPPRA and NCDMB and it was also addressed. The remaining portion of that area, we gave a time line for it to be addressed.

“We looked at Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System amongst to see those who have been given waiver and a committee has been set to work on it and know which of the agencies under the purview of the oil and gas sector that can benefit from such waiver.

“IPPS is concentrated for people who draw personnel cost from the consolidated revenue fund and so, the agencies that fall under that will be captured but there is a committee that will work on that”, he explained.