The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has vowed to resist any form of downsizing in the industry by the federal government and International Oil Companies (IOCs).
While declaring it is not averse to removal of subsidy on petroleum products, PENGASAN said it will not back any policy that will have negative effects on ordinary Nigerians.
The association also called for immediate passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), saying it will save the nation about $15 billion revenue annually as well as address other challenges facing the oil and gas industry.
PENGASSAN national president, Olabode Johnson, made the body’s position known in Abuja at the end of its National Executive Council meeting.
He said the PIB, which has been in the National Assembly for about nine years, will be in the overall interest of the nation.
Johnson, who said PENGASSAN will support any move by government that will better the oil and gas sector, however, stated it will resist deliberate attempts by IOCs to make members redundant.
He also decried the IOCs penchant for bringing in expatriates to take over the jobs of Nigerians in the name of falling oil prices.
The labour leader said: “If our local refineries are working optimally, we can then look and see what subsidy we need. If you say we are consuming 40 million litres, when our refineries are working, the level of importation will be very minimal and that will save us some money for either levels of governance.
“We should also diversify the economy. The government should behave as if there is no oil and gas in the country and focus on other mineral resources and agriculture and therefore remove pressure on oil and gas”.