The Federal Government has commended the leadership and membership of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) for their relentless collaborative effort in ensuring stability in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave this commendation in his keynote address at the ongoing 5th Triennial National Delegates’ Conference of the Association in Abuja.
Represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, President Buhari said the noble and progressive contributions of PENGASSAN were an essential element for driving the various reforms for the Oil and Gas Industry and the significant achievements record so far in the petroleum sector.
“No one can forget your resilience and support which enabled the restoration of normalcy to the downstream sector in 2016. We can also not forget your solidarity and cooperation in achieving the giant stride of emplacing the new Joint Venture cash call framework and indeed your sacrifice in many other ways including the NNPC reforms,” Mr. President applauded.
He said the Oil and Gas Industry was being challenged from shale oil, low oil price environment, alternative energy sources, new frontiers and militancy in the Niger Delta.
According to the President, the global impact of shale gas on the natural gas industry was imminent with the energy policy shift in the United States and commercial quantities discovery in China, Australia and North Africa regions.
“Closer home, new exploration plays have been and will continue to be discovered in neighbouring West African countries and East Africa, with many producing countries already reviewing their fiscal terms to capture profits and increase government take”, he said.
He admonished that the Federal government and PENGASSAN must work together to overcome militancy, change status quo and policies to meet the changing dynamics of the times in the Oil and Gas Industry.
The 5th Triennial National Delegates’ Conference of the Association has the theme: “Emerging Trends in the Oil and Gas Industry and its impacts on Labour Movement in Nigeria”.
In his address as Hon. Minister of State for Petroleum at the occasion, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu said there was no attempt to concession the refineries, adding that what the government was trying to do was to emplace a funding mechanism to revamp the refineries in order for it to compete effectively.
The Minister of State for Petroleum explained that private funding investment coming into the refineries would go through a transparent process of the NNPC Board and the Federal Executive Council.
He assured that the management of the refineries would remain in the control of NNPC.
In his contribution as Guest speaker at the event, NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said despite the low oil prices and decreasing reserves, the NNPC was ready to work with the union to ensure efficiency and create an enabling environment for the Oil and Gas industry in the country.
Dr. Baru noted that the NNPC Management sees the unions as partners in progress and urged them to sustain the cordial industry harmony to help the country get out of the current challenges.
The GMD stated that in the last few months, the Corporation has stabilized and ensured steady supply of petroleum products and executed the revamp of Mosimi, Ejigbo and Kano depots.
Speaking at the occasion, PENGASSAN President, Comrade Francis Olabode Johnson looked back at the last three years that he had led the Association, saying the period had been challenging due to global industry developments, adding that despite the impediments, the Union had forged ahead to achieve a lot for the benefit of its members and the nation.
He listed safe guard of members jobs, building a cohesive Association, contribution to events that led to the JV Cash Call Exit, among others, as the major achievement of the Union under his leadership.
Johnson called on the Federal Government to ensure stable power supply in the country as a way of transforming the nation’s economy.