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NUPENG tasks National Assembly on laws to save Nigerian workers

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images 19 2 NUPENG tasks National Assembly on laws to save Nigerian workers

Against the backdrop of flagrant abuse of workers and anti-labour policies of employers in the country, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has charged the National Assembly and all industry regulatory and monitoring agencies to come up with laws and policies to save Nigeria workers in the oil and gas industry.

President of NUPENG, Williams Akporeha, in his address at the sixth triennial delegates’ conference of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN), lamented that there was a dangerous trend in the nation’s industrial relations landscape militating against the survival of decent and healthy industrial relations in the country today.

“There seems to be a calculated attempt to impoverish Nigerian workers by denying them their constitutional right of voluntarily belonging to trade unions of their choice and thereby depriving them the right of freedom to freely discuss their fate while in employment,” he said.

Akporeha noted that situations where management in the industry sacked workers through text messages at resumption gates and where IOCs management don’t employ permanent workers into their systems anymore but outsourced them to contractors who they arm-twist and advice to carry out anti-workers/labour practices portend strong, ugly and very dangerous signals to the working masses.

He said, “And we must stand up now and resist with all our might this anti-workers imperialists in whatever form and shape they tend to rear their heads because, as I address this august gathering, it has degenerated to the extent where workers on contract employment are seen as slaves and they are to remain without union if they must continue to keep their job

“The question is, where is the future of our trade unions? Where is the future of freedom of association? Where is the future of the working people of this country, especially in the oil and gas industry?”

According to Akporeha, labour leaders and their members should remain unapologetic in defending, promoting and projecting the rights and privileges of NUPENGASSAN members, no matter their status of employment in the industry.

He recalled that over the years, the two unions, NUPENG and PENGASSAN have evolved and become so unbreakable in their bond and resolve to promote, protect and project job interest of their  members, promote productivity and industrial peace and harmony in the industry under the umbrella of NUPENGASSAN and consistently supporting and recommending policies that will enhance greater socio-economic benefits and welfare opportunities for every Nigerian.

“Capital is never our friend and the interest of capital remains same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We must not pretend that we are projection of the owners of the business, we remain who we are as workers and as workers and an injury to one oil and gas worker is an injury to all oil and gas workers,” he said.

He maintained that NUPENG would continue to work towards closer ties and cooperation with the sister union to put an end to all unwholesome industrial relations issues and challenges in the sector.

He added that, “The leadership of NUPENG today celebrates the ever-burning fire of collaboration that exists with PENGASSAN, especially in the fight against unfair labour practices in the oil and gas industry, notably on casualisation and outsourcing.

“Our joint unrepentant positions in canvassing for the speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, Local Content Amendment Bill, struggles against casualisatiion, which gave rise to industry guidelines on outsourcing, contract labour and prompt caution to employers not to take the advantage of COVID-19 pandemic to unleash unnecessary redundancies on our members are pointers to

“NUPENGASSAN collaborative efforts to protect and project the rights and welfare of the oil and gas workers during this period under review.”

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Lower oil demand may persist beyond 2021 – World Bank

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images 2020 10 23T153303.293 Lower oil demand may persist beyond 2021 – World Bank

The World Bank on Thursday said lower demand for crude oil may persist beyond 2021 .
It stated that while metal and agricultural commodities had recouped their losses from the COVID -19 pandemic and were expected to make modest gains in 2021 , energy prices , despite some recovery , were expected to stabilise below pre – pandemic levels next year .
Oil prices fell dramatically in the early stages of COVID -19 and have only partially regained pre -pandemic price levels .
Metal prices on the other hand , declined relatively modestly and have returned to levels that preceded the shock, according to the semi -annual Commodity Markets Outlook report, as stated by the bank .
The bank stated that agricultural produce prices were relatively unaffected by the pandemic , but the number of people at risk of food insecurity had risen as a result of the broader effects of global recession .
“ The impact of COVID – 19 on commodities has been uneven , and could have lasting effects for energy markets ,” World Bank Group Acting Vice President for Equitable Growth , Finance and Institutions and Director for the Prospects Group, Ayhan Kose , said.
He added, “ When declines in commodity prices are short -lived , policy stimulus can buffer their impact.
“ However, when prices remain depressed for an extended period , policymakers need to find solutions so their economies can adjust smoothly to a new normal .”
He stated that because of COVID – 19 , the new normal for oil – exporting emerging and developing economies arrived earlier.
Kose explained that in the post -COVID world , these countries need to be more aggressive in implementing policies to reduce their reliance on oil revenues .
The bank said oil prices were expected to average $ 44 per barrel in 2021 , up from an estimated $41 per barrel in 2020 .
It said demand was expected to rise only slowly as tourism and travel continued to be held back by health concerns and as global economic activity was anticipated to return to pre -pandemic levels only in the year after next.
It said supply restraint was expected to be eased steadily .
“ Energy prices overall , which also include natural gas and coal, are expected to rebound sizably in 2021 , following large declines in 2020 , an upward revision from April ’s forecast,” the bank said.

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Ban Tomato Importation – Dangote Tomato MD Tells FG

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images 2020 10 23T104030.892 Ban Tomato Importation - Dangote Tomato MD Tells FG

Ban tomato importation – Dangote tells FG
The Managing Director of Dangote Tomato Processing plant in Kadawa, Kano State, Abdulkarim Kaita has on Thursday called on the Federal government to ban importation of tomato paste like it ban rice importation into the country.
This was as he decried importation of tomato paste which he said was still thriving as the commodity was being imported from Cameroon and Cotonour in Benin Republic.
Kaita made the call while flagging off the distribution of tomato seedlings to 5,000 farmers under the Anchor Borrower of Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday at Kadawa village in Kura LGA of the state.
The MD also dropped hint that plans are underway by the company to ensure that Nigeria is self sufficient and positioned to export tomato by establishing the biggest greenhouse in Africa which has the capacity to produce 350 million seedlings annually.
According to him, “We are appealing to the Federal Government to put a total ban on the importation of tomato like what it did to rice.
“The ban is necessary so as to boost local production of the commodity and ensure that Nigeria is self sufficient in tomato production.
“the ban on the importation of tomato paste would lead to the establishment of more tomato processing plants thereby creating job opportunities for many people in the country.
“The company had on several occasions visited the Customs Headquarters and met with the Controller General with a view to lodging complaint over the issue but nothing was done to check the ugly trend.
“It is only by putting a total ban on tomato importation that the government can encourage farmers to grow the commodity for the country to be self sufficient.
“The company was working with the Central bank of Nigeria under the anchor Borrower programme to provide tomato farmers with high yield seeds which will enable them to produce a minimum of 40 tons per hectare.
“Similarly, the company is putting a lot of effort to ensure that Nigeria is self sufficient in tomato production by establishing the biggest greenhouse in Africa which has the capacity to produce 350 million seedlings annually.
“There are 12 major tomato producing states in the country which if fully cultivated, in the next one year, Nigeria will be able to start exporting tomato.
“The greenhouse which is the largest in Africa, is established to provide tomato growers with high yield tomato seedlings in the country,” Kaita said.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Kano State chapter, Tomato Growers Association of Nigeria, Sani Danladi-Yadakwari commended the Federal Government for including tomato value chain in the anchor borrower programme noting that it would go a long way in boosting tomato production in the country.
Some of the items benefitted by the tomato growers include seedlings, fertilizer, water pump and other inputs.

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Fuel Scarcity Looms As Depots Stop Loading

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images 2020 10 22T134311.286 Fuel Scarcity Looms As Depots Stop Loading

The scarcity of petroleum products is imminent in Nigeria as some depots have stopped loading-trucks, The Nation learnt on Wednesday.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN ) National Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi, disclosed this to our Abuja correspondent on phone.
He added that the #EndSARS protests and the resultant crises have stopped the marketers from transiting their loaded trucks.
According to him, since petroleum products are highly inflammable, the drivers decided to park their trucks in safe places nationwide.
He explained that since consumers buy fuel on daily basis and there is no replacement, there is bound to be a scarcity of petroleum products.
Maigandi further said the marketers do not hoard products so there will be no reservoirs to turn to upon the exhaustion of available stock.
Asked whether there is any fear of scarcity, he said “definitely, because some of the depots are not loading due of insecurity.
“The ones that have already loaded parked their trucks in the yards so that protesters will not set them on fire. There is no way you can have sufficient fuels in the filling stations because we don’t do hoarding.”
The IPMAN National Vice President urged the protesters to dialogue with the Federal Government for the amicable resolution of the crises.
He asked them to embrace the olive branch because of the economic losses that emanate from the crisis.
His words: “The EndSARS issue is a Nigerian issue so the protesters and government should dialogue over it for a lasting solution. Nigerians (both government and the governed need to have attitudinal change. So, it is better to dialogue. “

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