Oil sector reform: I’m ready to sign PIGB, says Buhari
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday he was committed to Nigeria’s reform, saying he would assent to the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, as soon as the National Assembly presented it to him.
He also appealed to worrkers in the oil and gas sector to accord maximum cooperation to his administration to deliver on his promise of reforming the sector.
The president,who spoke at the 40th anniversary of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers ,NUPENG, in Abuja, said when the bill becomes law, it would address most of the challenges facing the oil and gas industry.
Represented by Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, Buhari appealed to the workers to support his government towards ensuring better welfare for them.
Whiile commending the workers for the progress made so far in the sector, Buhari sought dialogue as alternative to their well known practice of shutting down the country while in dispute with their employers.
He said: “Mr President asked me to congratulate you on the celebrations of your 40 years in existence. He is a workers-friendly President that is concerned about better working condition for workers. “He is a President that respects the rule of law and the law of the land.
He promised to sign the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill once it is brought to him.” Speaking earlier, NUPENG President, Williams Akporeha, lamented casualisation of workers by oil companies, adding that the union would always fight for better working condition of its members.
He said: “The enormous challenges confronting our union, especially with regards to the employers, government and general public perception of our enormous powers, influence and ever constant solidarity.” “We know that most often. Many employers are scared of relating with us and this wrong perception is sometimes responsible for the hostile attitude to our efforts in organizing their employees.
“In the light of this realization, our administration will embark on massive public image polishing and mending relationship with all perceived aggrieved stakeholders. ‘’Our new mission is to ensure prosperity and good returns for everyone in the industry.
We pledge to be more cooperative and collaborative in our dealings but without compromising on the best interest of our members and global labour best practices.
“We have further resolved to be more open and engaging in social dialogue with all stakeholders. We urge everyone, government, employers and the general public to know that we are fully committed to rendering efficient, effective and public/stakeholders friendly services to our dear country and its citizens”.