PENGASSAN Calls for Increase in Local Refining Capacity

By Sunday Elom

Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), has charged the Nigerian government to increase the country’s local oil refining capacity.

The association said that as a way to end the current debate on deregulation and fluctuating cost of petroleum products in the country, the federal government should remove all the militating factors against the full rehabilitation of the three other refineries.

The President of the association, Festus Osifo, who made this call when speaking at the 2021 one-day Leadership Workshop recently organized by its Warri Zone in Asaba, Delta State capital further advocated for the revocation of unused licenses for private and modular refineries.

“We reiterate our call for the immediate revocation of un-utilized licenses issued to non-practicing companies and individuals for the establishment of private refineries and re-issue them to those with financial capacities and technical abilities. Also fulfill the promise to encourage the establishment of modular refineries to sustain the gains already recorded in the sector under the present dispensation,” Osifo said.

He also demanded that the federal government should intervene in the ongoing price hike of cooking gas in the country.

“We are also worried at the unending high cost of domestic gas and demand that the government should evolve ways towards making the commodity cheaper,” he said.

Speaking further, Osifo maintained that “As an Association, training and re-training of our personnel, either as elected officials or employees has always been paramount to us. From the inception of this present leadership, all staff and most members have benefited from local and foreign pieces of training in which some huge resources were expended.

“This year despite the limiting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have participated in several pieces of training and re-training tailored towards making our members more productive and adding value not only to the Association but to the overall development of our dear nation, Nigeria.”

The PENGASSAN boss who re-emphasized the importance of industrial relations to the Nigerian economy promised to always support workshops and training programmes of the association’s members.

According to him, “The state of industrial relations in any economy is a crucial factor that impacts the national economy. It is indispensable that development irrespective of the path it takes is heavily dependent and driven by the social partners (government, employers, and the employees).

“In consequence, the state, employers association, and the trade union movement are the institutions propelling and lubricating the arms of national development. In a nutshell, industrial and labour relations practices have contributed significantly to the pace of development in Nigeria.”

The leadership workshop with the theme: ‘Trade Union Leadership In The Post Petroleum Industry Act (PIA)’ was attended by dignitaries within and outside oil and gas sector including the Delta state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, who was represented by the state commissioner for oil and gas, Hon. Prince Emmanuel Amgbaduba, deputy managing director of Agip Oil Company, Mrs. Callister Azogu, who was represented by Comrade Chief Doris Nwachukwu Ijeoma and Warri Zonal Chairman of PENGASSAN, Comrade Dr. Kalmadeen Mustapha.

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