PENGASSAN

Nigeria faces threat of scarcity of premium motor spirit otherwise called fuel as the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) on Monday announced that it is going on strike over the inability of the union and the Federal Government to reach an agreement over the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) payment system

The decision was announced by Festus Osifo, President of the association on Channels TV on Monday.

“Today, PENGASSAN has declared a strike. Today our members are sitting at home and we will continually watch the situation and if we need to rev it up, we will definitely rev it up,” Osifo said.

Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) threatened last week to shut down oil and gas facilities nationwide, citing a breach of the agreement by the FG over the implementation of the IPPIS on members.

Both unions accuse the FG of failure to pay arrears owed to members in the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA).

Osifo accused the government of negligence during negotiations, citing unpaid arrears to members t the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA), and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), which he says have not been remitted since 2019.

“It is negligence on the part of the government representatives, that we are where we are today.”

According to him, the government is not taking it committee seriously to look into the matters of unpaid arrears as government negotiators did not turn up for meetings.

“We agreed with the government that we should set up a technical committee that will look into these issues one after the other, to be sure that our specific earning in the oil and gas industry is taken care of.

“At the end of the day, the committee was set up but the government was not committed to it, we fixed a date for a meeting and when our members get there, we will wait from morning till night, and nothing was done,” he said.

He added that the association does not mind which tool is used to pay arrears to its members, but urged that any tool used should be used to short change members.

“For us in PENGASSAN, we don’t specifically mind the tool that the government will use in paying our salaries, but what we are saying is that any tool that you want to use in paying our salaries must not short-change our members.

“Today, they have forcefully enrolled our members in NNRA without data capturing and without biometrics.”

He said that members in the NNRA who were paid via the IPPIS system received at least a 30% reduction in salaries and allowances not paid.

“In NNRA today, they paid them the last two months salary via IPPIS and it will shock you to note that most of our members got at least 30 per cent reduction in their pay and a lot of allowances that they earn were nor paid as well.”