We suspended strike to allow FG, IOCs implement agreement —PENGASSAN

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), on Wednesday,  said  it only suspended the six-day old strike to allow the Federal Government and the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to implement the agreement reached and signed with the union during the long negotiation.

The Federal Government and the IOCs had engaged the union in prolonged  negotiations for two days, which lasted through the night of Tuesday to early Wednesday to resolve the crisis.

Led by its president, Comrade Olabode Johnson, PENGASSAN went into its emergency national executive council (NEC) meeting at about 3a.m. on  Wednesday and suspended the strike.

But further negotiations between the union and the Federal Government, as well as the IOCs, will resume next week Tuesday and Thursday to address other issues that were unresolved after Tuesday’s meeting.

Johnson, who addressed journalists at the end of the  NEC meeting appealed to the members of the union to return to their duty posts with immediate effect.

He said: “The leadership of PENGASSAN, hereby, advise our members to return to their offices immediately.”

He, however, emphasised that the strike was suspended to see how the Federal Government would handle and resolve the pending issues, while the implementation of the agreement signed with them would determine the extent at which peace would  reign in the sector.

The NUPENG president recalled that the union listed some of the reasons which informed its strike action  to include lingering irregular joint venture funding and cash call payment arrears, lack of a clear cut direction on the PIB, among others.

However, a communique signed after the meeting with the minister highlighted some resolutions which were agreed upon, while the inclusive issues were deferred for further negotiations.

The communique was signed by PENGASSAN president, Francis Olabode Johnson; PENGASSAN General Secretary, Lumumba Okugbawa, the NUPENG president, Igwe Achese; NUPENG deputy General Secretary, Adamu Song; General Manager Human Resources NNPC, B. M. Isah and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Clement Illoh.

The agreement was clearly contained in the communique and it read: “The meeting reviewed the State of the Nation and was of the view that PENGASSAN complaints that the issue of national security, power and bad road infrastructure was in order as members of the Nigeria, nation. The meeting was particularly satisfied with the reports given by the Security Chiefs from the Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the Police on government efforts to tackling the issues of insurgency and pipeline vandalism and kidnapping of the oil workers in the Nigeria.

On the state of the nation’s refineries/non implementation of collective bargaining agreements (CBA) / Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS)/Restructuring and Resourcing in Government Agencies, the communique said “the explanation and work plan by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources with a view to reactivating the refineries were satisfactorily adopted.