The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has said that concerted efforts should be made to persuade and further incentivise the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to remain in the country to benefit from the newly passed Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
However, should they decide to exit after all efforts to ask them to remain failed, the union urged the Federal Government that a good investment that has relevant technical experience, good financial standing, and reputation for managing employees must be sorted after.
PENGASSAN, in a statement yesterday, said it has been following with keen interest, the spate of IOCs divestments from the Nigeria oil and gas industry, especially the onshore, swamp, and shallow waters.
It said the trend that started in 2012 has spread quickly within the industry and has reduced the fortunes of developments within the oil and gas fields.
It said while it is not averse to indigenous participation in the industry, it will not fold its arms and allow mediocre to take hold of the national assets and ruin the fortunes of future generations for immediate gains.
The oil workers alleged that since IOCs started divestment in 2012, most of the companies that purchased such assets do not have and cannot attract the requisite finances for capital expenditures in such fields nor have made reasonable efforts to provide the required human and technical developments of Nigerians within their establishment.
It further alleged that most of the companies practically draw from the existing wells until it is dried up.
According to PENGASSAN, they do not substantially, if at all invest in workover operations or drilling of new wells.
“A country whose major source of foreign exchange earning is oil and gas can not afford to allow this depletion to continue and this charge, PENGASSAN has decided to lead.
“Moreover, most of these companies do not only refuse the unionisation of workers but also subject their employees to sub-optimal conditions. This is reprehensible and against all known laws and conventions.
“As an association, we will henceforth not cooperate with any company whether indigenous or foreign that does not have the capacity to develop the oil and gas fields or have a track record of subjecting employees to modern-day slavery.
“PENGASSAN will continue to act as a watchdog and call any shady divestment to question every tool at our disposal to protect our country, Nigeria, and the jobs of all Nigerians,” the statement said.