Union, FG hold talks Monday
PENGASSAN also insists that the current strike action will continue until the government makes moves to improve the oil and gas sector.
Guardian reports that the chairman of PENGASSAN, Lagos, Abel Agarin, said the government’s refusal to pay cash calls under the joint venture deals with other multi-national companies, led to loss of jobs recently.
Agarin also said “As far as we are concerned, there is no talk ongoing. I don’t know why the Federal Government said they are talking with us. We only have a proposed meeting for Monday. So, the strike is still very much ongoing.
“We are not talking about salaries. All we are saying is that the Federal Government should live up to its responsibilities on the cash calls. The increasing debt on the cash calls is our problem, because this funding has not been forthcoming for the past five to six years running.
“The non-payment of the cash calls is affecting the industry seriously, to the extent that our members are loosing jobs. The IOCs and the service sector are not undertaking new investments. No investment in new projects, as we speak, and the existing ones are being divested. So, our people are loosing jobs. As at today, Transocean is no longer in this country. Saipem has moved out because there is nothing going on.”
Adding that “…This is supposed to aid the industry, but it has been laid to rest; nobody is talking about it. We are not clamouring for salary increase. There has been no increment of salary in the oil sector in the last three years. We are just there, and even now companies are making moves to reduce our salaries. Where is that done? The economy is not friendly.
“If we fail to do this, now, the nation will end up having nothing, just like cocoa ended up, groundnut pyramids in the North, rubber and timber in Mid-West ended up. So, we cannot fold our hands. This is the only industry in the country, today, where we earn our revenue.
“As far as we are concerned, petroleum resources are still the mainstay of this economy. We might be talking about diversification. There is no gainsaying the fact that much of our national earning still comes from oil and gas, and we must not allow that to collapse suddenly.”
It was reported that undefineddue to a scheduled meeting with the Federal Government.
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