LEADERS of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association, PENGASSAN, few days ago, gathered at the association's national secretariat in Lagos, to among others, appraised the socio-economic and political situations in the country, and declared that until the Federal Government does the needful, Nigeria and Nigerians cannot reap maximum benefits from the nation's Oil and Gas Sector.
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Briefing, President of PENGASSAN, Ndukaku Ohaeri, raised issues including Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, and refineries.
According to him, the lack of significant investment in the industry until the recent Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, Train 7 FID, continue to limit the overall contribution of the sector to economic growth and development. We are therefore using this avenue to call for the resuscitation of the Nation's refineries as this will create more jobs, reduce the burden of importing refined petroleum products and add value to our national economy as well as save some foreign exchange.
We continue to advocate the application of the NLNG ownership and operating model for our Refineries as one of the best ways to maximize those national assets.
When we talk about NLNG model, we talk about ownership and operating structure or model. In NLNG, you may not know that government has about 49 per cent stakes through Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. The rest 51 per cent are controlled by Shell, ENI and Total. So, Nigeria has 49 per cent and not all the 100 per cent as in the case of refineries.
Now these three companies that own the 51 per cent, they are good in what they do, they are core business people and, so it's not like they want to do business and run at a loss. So they have to use expertise, they have to use the model that is required that is best practiced. That is why today NLNG is very successful. Every staff of NLNG has so much imbibed on the culture of excellence and performance. So where ever you go, nobody needs to come and wake you up, there are no lapses, there are no bureaucracies, there is a job to be done, and it needs to be done
"Additionally, the government should look beyond politics and reconsider the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, as this bill will remove some of the barriers of efficiency, address loopholes of corruption and position the industry for greater competitiveness and productivity. We also call for the inclusion of a clause that mandates International Oil Companies, IOCs, to refine certain percentage of their crude production in-country. This will definitely mark a new era in the Oil and Gas industry to the benefit of the Nation and her people.
"While the commending effort made by the government to harness gas flared through the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Programme, NGFCP, in reducing our nation's carbon print in the atmosphere thereby resulting in ozone layer depletion and climate change, we believe government should support several gas-to-power initiatives, domestic gas commercialization as well as develop a legal and fiscal framework to develop the Non-Associated Gas, NAG. We believe significant investment should be made in the area of gas and we are particularly glad that the Final Investment Decision, FID, for NLNG Train 7 has been signed. We also need to start developing Renewable, the emerging market in the energy sector so as to capture potentials and opportunities.
On the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS, he said "the Association reiterates its earlier stance that whilst it is desirable to pursue accountability and transparency in all financial dealings of government, it is incumbent on policy makers to assess the workability of any system on the imparted. The IPPIS is not supported to accommodate the peculiarity of the Oil and Gas industry, which is solely dependent on appraisal evaluation and performance indices.
"Our members are on another government run payroll platform, GIFMIS, which has proven to be more amenable to the concerned raised by our Association. The Payroll structure in the Industry is based on Collective Bargaining Agreements, CBA, and will be a disincentive to disregard the tenets of the statutory negotiations between Government and the Unions."
NLNG Train 7 to create about 10,000 direct jobs in Nigeria -- ES, NCDMB
Cost of Governance
Examining cost of governance, Ohaeri said "Irrespective of tribe and creed, all Nigerians yearn for good governance and the dividends of democracy. With over 200 Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), Governors, Senators/Representatives, Local Government Chairmen and Councilors, Nigeria has no business ranking low in development indices. While we expect proactive leadership which addresses our dire need for development, the cost of governance continues to grow with little or no result to show. At the start of this new decade, we reiterate the need to cut down the cost of financing inefficiencies, bureaucracy and unproductively. All political and public office holders need to adopt result-oriented approach that guarantees the provision of the dividends of democracy for all. The government.