PENGASSAN at 40
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) came to existence Forty years ago, precisely on the 15th of August 1978, when the certificate of registration was issued to the Association under the Trade Union (Amendment) Decree No. 22 of 1978.
The Association was established with the principal objectives of overall unionisation of all senior and middle level management employees in the oil, gas, petrochemical and other allied companies in the country; regulating and maintaining all forms of labour and industrial relations activities between various managements and the employees; safeguarding and improvement of rights, terms and conditions of employment of its members; fostering unity and stability among the ranks and with other unions globally; and fostering mutually beneficial relationship with the employers, government and other stakeholders.
Other missions include promoting and supporting legislations that further members’ interest, employment models and socially acceptable tools, techniques and ideas that espouse and strengthen labour and industrial relations practices; responding positively and sensitively to the needs and aspirations of its members; as well as enhancing the sphere and frontier of socio-economic/welfare benefits and opportunities for members and staff.
Like other Trade Union movements, the road has not been smooth as the Association and its leaders had their own share of the ups-and-downs of the political and socio-economic situations in the country.
Most importantly are the contributions of the Association and its leaders to the current democratic dispensation being enjoyed in the country today. PENGASSAN leaders along with other Trade Unions and civil society groups were at the forefront of the June 12 struggle which led to the takeover of the Association and the imposition of an Administrator on the Association by the then military regime. Our erstwhile leaders, President, Comrade Ganiu Owoduni, General Secretary, Comrades Milton Gilchrist Dabibi and Comrade Frank Addo, suffered varying degrees of persecution and were even jailed at that time.
Given the coordinated and sound administrative system, PENGASSAN has collaborated with other social partners in the growth and development of the Nigerian nation.
On the part of the Government, PENGASSAN have been involved in several policy engagements that led to the development of the Oil and Gas industry and the Nation’s economy such as the resolution of the Joint Venture (JV) Cash Call, contributions to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), leading advocacy for local content and indigenous participation in the nation’s hydrocarbon business, as well as regulation of the Contract and Casual Employment, among others. Indeed, the Association has been complementing the efforts of the Government in building a virile and productive economy.
The Association also demonstrated its masses oriented leaning by collaborating with the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the umbrella body of all Senior Staff Associations in Nigeria in the struggle against some Government policies we feel are detrimental to the welfare of the masses.
On the international scene, the PENGASSAN has been participating in International Labour Organisation (ILO) and IndustriAll activities towards improvement of welfare of its members, the industry and other workers.
With the robust and commitment of the Association’s leadership, we are sure that the future is bright for the Association, the members and staff, the Oil and Gas Industry and the Nation at large.
Comrade Fortune Obi
National Public Relations Officer