There is no record of any trade union in the modern sense before 1914, except for the Nigerian Civil Service Union. However, after 1914, a combination of factors – the rising cost of living, the influx of men into paid employment, and the inadequacy of wages to keep pace with the rise in prices, made collective action by workers inevitable. Efforts were made by the Nigerian miners to form a trade union in 1931 and by the railway workers in 1932.  The development of trade unionism took a more dynamic form immediately after the war when unions in the country rapidly rose to over 800. This created problems in the management of labour relations because most of these unions were company unions and not industrial unions.

In 1976, the government appointed an Administrator of Trade Unions to inquire into the activities of the unions and come up with a structure for a proper administration and management. At the end of the exercise, the administrator streamlined Unions along industrial lines.  The government also charged the administrator with the duty of the formation of a single and new central labour organization so the Nigerian Labour Congress was inaugurated by the consensus of the union of workers on 28 February 1978. On August 15 1978, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) was formally registered alongside twenty three other Senior Staff Association. Furthermore, the Labour Act of 2004, paved the way for multiple Labour Centers and today, we have the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC). 

At inception, Comrade (Rev.) O. Oshewa of blessed memory became the first President of the Association while Comrade O. Oyo was the first General secretary. Between 1978 and 2019, PENGASSAN has had fifteen (15) Presidents and seven (7) General Secretaries. The current President of the Association is Comrade Ndukaku Michael Ohaeri while the General Secretary is Comrade Lumumba Ighotemu Okugbawa.

It is a well known fact that the Trade Union is the revolutionary forerunner of the people hence the role of our past leaders in the struggle after the annulment of June 12 1993  elections in Nigeria. It was a celebrated struggle that led to the end of the Military rule in Nigeria and up till date, the Association is still focused on the protection of our democracy. In addition to the promotion of labour, PENGASSAN supports and recommends policies that will enhance greater socio-economic benefits and welfare opportunities for every Nigerian. The registered office is 288 Ikorodu Road, Anthony Lagos.


Comrade Festus Osifo

Comrade Festus Osifo is a holder of a First-Class degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering from University of Portsmouth UK. Prior to that, he attended Iyobosa Primary School and his secondary school education was at Immaculate Conception College (ICC) both in Benin City, Edo State. His brilliancy manifested as he emerged as the overall best graduating student (valedictorian) 2003/2004 session from the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun where he obtained HND in Mechanical Engineering with distinction. He is also a distinguished alumnus of the prestigious Herriot Watt University in Edinburgh, United Kingdom where he obtained a Masters’ of Science degree in (M.Sc.) Petroleum Engineering.

The new PENGASSAN President is currently an Executive MBA student at Lagos Business School of Pan Atlantic University, Lagos, where he is further developing himself in leadership and strategic management.

Comrade Osifo has attended numerous courses, seminars and conferences on Leadership, Industrial Relations, and Strategic Management in Nigeria and abroad among which are Advance Negotiation Strategies: Mastering the Art and Science of Negotiation: Harvard University, USA; Modern Trend in Conflict Resolution and Management; Washington DC, USA; Industrial Relations and Conflict Resolution; and Emerging Leader’s Forum; Washington DC, USA.

Comrade Osifo, is a member of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) in Nigeria and a Non-Executive Director at Heiwa Africa, an NGO that works in settling the internally displaced persons in Middle Belt and North Eastern part of Nigeria.

As a great lover of education, Festus founded “Save Our Children Education Initiative” (SOCEI), a nongovernmental organization that provides free and qualitative learning to primary and secondary students with special focus on school dropouts.

Festus currently represents Total E&P; Branch of PENGASSAN as a director on the board of Total E&P; Closed Pension Fund Administrator (CPFA). The new PENGASSAN President hobbies include football, Lawn Tennis, and unfathomable engineering intelligent activities.