Oil and gas committee on labour issues inaugurated

Martha Obi, Abuja

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige has inaugurated a twenty one-man tripartite committee on labour issues in the Oil and Gas Sector.

Dr Ngige said that the Federal Government was aware of the present challenges arising from the global dwindling in oil revenue. He said that job cuts were not the solution.

According to the the Minister,“we are all in agreement that the Oil and Gas Sector is currently facing challenges. The Federal Government is mindful of the concerns of both the employers and the employees, and is determined to nurture viable employment relationships devoid of strife. Hence, the need to employ social dialogue mechanism to proffer solutions to challenges confronting the sector”.

The twenty one-man committee which has the Minister of State Labour and Employment, James Ocholi , as Chairman, is charged with the responsibilities of reviewing existing guidelines on Labour Administration Issues, such as Contract Staffing and Outsourcing; upgrade the Guidelines to a Ministerial Regulation as provided by Section 88 (1)(e) and (g) of the Labour Act, CAP L1, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004.

The committee which has eight weeks to conclude its assignment is also to consider modalities for achieving the retention of jobs, in view of current challenges facing the oil and gas sector as well as look into other important concerns to promote industrial peace.

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Members of the committee are drawn from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Federal ministry of Interior, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

Others are the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board; Nigeria Immigration Services; Oil Producing Trade Sector; Labour contractors in the Oil and Gas Sector; Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).

The Chairman of the Committee and Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Mr Ocholi assured the Minister that the committee would do its best to ensure sustainable harmony in the Oil and Gas sector.