Oil workers in the country have condemned the ways and manners the Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) conducted and ended its public hearing without allowing critical and strategic stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to present their positions.
The workers under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), noted that the action by the Senate Committee to exclude some stakeholders including PENGASSAN and NUPENG was deliberate and not in the interest of the nation.
They therefore demanded that their request to make their presentation through a properly conducted public hearing be granted in the interest of industrial peace and harmony and also to rekindle their confidence, and indeed that of other Nigerians, in the PIB legislative process.
It would be recalled that in a letter sent out by the Senate Committee of PIB to stakeholders, the two days public hearing was earlier scheduled for July 15 and 16, 2013, but later postponed the event to July 18 and 19, 2013. The postponed was only communicated to the stakeholders through media reports in some dailies.
In a protest letter jointly signed by the General Secretaries of PENGASSAN and NUPENG, Comrade Bayo Olowoshile and Comrade Isaac Aberare respoectively, which was submitted to the Secretariat of the Committee located at the basement of the Senate Building and received by a staff at the secretariat, Mr. Lucas Jonah, the two workers’ unions said that the letter sent to them indicated that they will presenting their positions on the second day of the public hearing.
They alleged that the committee ended the public hearing to protect personal interest of some people but not deny many individuals and groups, including the unions, who have the national interest at heart the opportunity to make their presentation.