Oil workers under the auspices of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have rejected the Service Level Agreement (SLA) in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
They described the agreement reached between the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) under the PIB as an unwholesome act.
The unions in a joint statement said that it would lead to further impoverishment of indigenous contractors and workers in the oil and gas industry, even as they called on relevant stakeholders involved in the deal to immediately have a rethink in the overall interest of the country.
The oil workers said that such agreement would in no way help to deepen the skill acquisition and expertise of Nigerians because of the likelihood of International Oil Companies and Indigenous Oil Companies who may want to ridiculously exploit such agreement for their pecuniary gains.
It warned that any agreement that fails to address the issues of the locals and sustainable jobs for Nigerians in the industry would be vehemently resisted in whatever guise they appear.
"It is ridiculous and unfortunate that the NCDMB allowed desperate OPTS to arm-twist it into making mockery of the key thrust of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act of 2010, vis a vis maximising participation of Nigerians in the sector's activities, as well as maximising the utilisation capacity of Nigerian resources.
"The Unions wonder what sort of maximization of Nigerian's participation in the Oil and Gas businesses will arise from the reduction of the contract circle to a mere six months duration, rather, it is our belief that it will lead to further impoverishment of indigenous contractors and workers in the Oil and Gas industry.
"We are very sure that the prevailing indecent and precarious work condition in the industry will further be accentuated by the reduction of contract circle to six months duration," the groups noted.