The implementation of the new ‘Petroleum Industry Governance and Institutional Framework Bill 2015’ if fully operational may lead to loss of several jobs in the oil and gas sub-sector.
This was pointed out to The Nation by Oluwaseyi Gambo, the immediate past National Public Relations Officer of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN), who described as disheartening, the fact that the new bill was already having a ripple effect on the industry.
Speaking on the estimated number of jobs at risk if the new draft PIB is implemented, Gambo said: “As we speak, all sectors in the Nigeria oil and gas industry have lost between 18-20 percent of her work force. Many more workers would still be lost if the government and unions do not move fast to nip the current inferno in the bud.”
Gambo lamented that the challenges facing the sector had not been addressed by the past administration. “No single persecution for oil theft, all the about three different probes on subsidy scam nobody sanctioned,” he noted.
“There was a time Shell’s operation in western Nigeria was not making a dime for two solid years due to the pipeline vandalism menace and Shell was paying workers salaries, giving promotion etc. So when Shell management decided to downside the union had nothing to say, but take the bitter pill. Brilliant young men and women who still have a lot to give in service to Nigeria and the industry have been sent home. Chevron has gone this route, Addax is threatening, Sapetrol have almost windup, and almost all the contract workers in Total E&P are gone!”
“This was not what former President Olusegun Obasanjo envisaged when the OGIC committee was instituted which gave birth to PIB. In fact if successive presidents have continued in the Obasanjo spirit, the industry won’t be in the mess we have found ourselves today, and Nigeria would have been better for it.”
“The environment now is so dynamic and volatile that we are not even talking of competing with what the price of crude is saying in the international market, the unexpected export drive of the United States, Saudi Arabia trying to strangulate the financial muscle of ISIS etc, what we have now is a case of survival.”
“If the Bill had been passed years ago as some of us warned repeatedly, the industry would have passed the teething stage now, then what was being made put to good use. I wonder what the former Senate president who was characteristically boasting then that the IOC’s can’t dictate to Nigeria how much she will sell her oil will say now. It was never the issue of IOC’s but what Nigeria wants. A bill as important as PIB in the National Assembly for close to nine years and you think the whole world will be waiting for us?”
“Did the United Emirate wait for the crash of crude oil? Today we are at the mercy of others. We can’t even refine for ourselves, we are a pathetic case, laughing stock of the international community. We paid lip service to the development of other facet of the economy for too long. We are a nation only good at wasting resources. We are yet to know what IBB did with the Gulf windfall. We should go back to the basics, look at the laws we have that are hampering economic initiatives, reduce corruption, have more competent hands in strategic positions of the economy to drive the process,” Gambo said.