PENGASSAN urges FG to restore vandalised pipelines, prosecute oil thieves

By Gloria Nwafor

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has called on the Federal Government to ensure it sustains the fight to the nation’s vandalised pipelines and increasing crude oil production.

PENGASSAN also demanded that all those arrested in connection with economic sabotage of pipeline vandalism should be prosecuted and if found guilty, be made to face the consequences.

President and General Secretary of PENGASSAN, Festus Osifo and Lumumba Okugbawa, in a communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council meeting in Abuja, urged that investigative panel must carry out a thorough work that would end all forms of criminality in the sector.

The union frowned at the persistent shortages of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in the country, alleging that the current shortages are being perpetuated by players in the downstream sector to hike the price far above the government approved threshold.

The oil workers demanded that security agencies, especially the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigeria Immigration Service, charged with manning the nation’s borders, should act professionally in line with the dictates of their oaths of allegiances to stop the high rate of smuggling of the products across the West African countries.

NEC also demanded that the various depots and other storage facilities, especially those owned and operated by the NNPC, should be upgraded and made accessible to all operators to lift the product.

PENGASSAN expressed willingness to collaborate with the Federal Government and assist in all ways possible to overcome the country’s present challenges, cautioning not to take the Nigerian people for granted as it seems to be manifestly doing on various crucial national issues.

Ahead of the forthcoming general elections, the oil workers called on all arms of government to ensure that the electoral act recently signed into law are respected and adhered to holistically.

Specifically, the workers urged that the aspects dealing with the use of electronic devices, such as the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine should not be toyed with if the nation truly desired elections that would stand the taste of times.

It demanded that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and other key actors in the electoral process, should re-assure Nigerians that this year’s general elections would be credible, free and fair.