Pengassan Wants President Jonathan to Stop Petroleum Import and Gas Flaring


AS President Good Jonathan was yesterday swore in for a four -year tenure, workers in the nation’s Petroleum industry have called on the President to ensure among other things, an end to importation of petroleum products and gas flaring in Nigeria.
Under the umbrella of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association, PENGASSAN, the workers at the weekend also said it was becoming glaring the present National Assembly would not pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, into law before it wound up on June 6, 2011, saying failure by the lawmakers to pass the long awaited bill would be disservice to the nation.

President of PENGASSAN, Comrade Babatund Ogun, at briefing to unfold activities for the association’3rd Triennial National Delegates Conference scheduled for June 1 and 2, 2011, in Abuja, noted that among others, immediate concerns of the association included PIB, post-amnesty and Re-Integration Programme in the Niger Delta.
According to him, “Our grouse has been the non transparency and failure of government to practically engage labour on the PIB. We have made our representations through the legislative and executive platforms insisting on further consultation with labour to resolve all grey areas and to forestall likely unrest post-PIB is passed without taking into cognisance of labour concerns. The areas of concern remain:

Post-Amnesty and Re-Integration Programme in the Niger Delta, Proper delineation of percentage due to the host communities and monitoring of the proceeds thereof for direct development of the communities.

PENGASSAN played an active role in the downstream sector of the Oil and Gas operations by supporting the liberalisation policy of the government to promote private investments, participation and competition in petroleum products refining, storage, marketing and distribution.

In all these, the consuming public and businesses continue to yearn for protection against the severity and vagaries of market fundamentals. Dredging and expansion of products loading and receiving terminals /jetties and fixing of other related facilities to overcome delays and demurrage. We earnestly yearn for stronger commitment and push to improve and increase local refining with specific date to end importation of petroleum products and gas flaring.”

He faulted the exclusion of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund, PEF and Petroleum Training Institute, PTI from PIB, arguing that “Excluding the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) and the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) from the PIB undermine the purpose of the government to ensure that maximum benefits are derived from the nation’s hydrocarbon potentials.”