The President of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Mr. Festus Osifo, has revealed that the association is making moves to stop or reduce to a minimal level, the issues of casualisation in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
Speaking at a conference with journalists in Lagos, Osifo said that the association is discussing with the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas ((NUPENG) workers to hold a workshop with all the stakeholders in oil industry to draft an implementable communiqué, with action plan on how to address the issue of casualisation.
According to Osifo, the first step to addressing casualisation in the industry would be to unionize the workers, adding that the task of advocating for such workers will become easier to manage.
“One of the major things we are doing today is to ensure that every worker in Nigeria’s oil and gas industries is unionized, because we also recognise that even if you are contract staff, you are better off when you come under the umbrella of PENGASSAN and NUPENG.
“However, your cases can be properly managed and your courses can be adequately championed. PENGASSAN and NUPENG are collaborating in that front to ensure that we reduce the issues of casualisation to the barest minimum,” he said.
The PENGASSAN boss lamented the high level of insecurity in Nigeria.
Citing the March 28, 2022 Abuja-Kaduna train attack by terrorists, Osifo pointed out that if insecurity is not properly addressed, it will lead to many challenges that can pose a threat on the 2023 general elections.
He therefore reiterated the need for the decentralisation of the country’s police system. “You know before now, labour has been calling for the decentralisation of the police system. We cannot have less than 200,000 police policing the entire population of about 200 million; it is extremely ineffective.
“The number of men and women in the Nigerian police is grossly inadequate; for us why can we not be recruiting people into the police force on a yearly basis?
“I think that we should downplay every other sector and face the security sector head-on, because if we do not do that, the other sectors will not grow, and investors will not come,” the PENGASSAN boss said.