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Amid COVID 19 hardship, Nigeria braces for fresh petrol squeeze

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As economies world over are grappling with the hardship brought about by the shut down due to the corona virus pandemic, the woes of Nigerians might soon be compounded if the threat of petroleum producers and marketers is anything to go by.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers has threatened to down tools if the Federal Government insist on registering employees in the oil sector on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System IPPIS.

In letter to the federal government which was dated June 19, 2020, the workers said their apprehension about the IPPIS platform stemmed from the fact that it discountenanced the peculiarities of the oil and gas sector with regards to collective bargaining agreement and approved pay structure between the unions and the Federal Government.

The workers said that industrial peace in the sector cannot be guaranteed if the salaries of our members are stopped or if the implementation is carried out unilaterally without its input.

General Secretaries of PENGASSAN and NUPENG, Lumumgba Okugbawa and Olawale Afolabi said the unions would embark on industrial action if the government neglects their requests.

They however, said that no date had been fixed for the commencement of such action as the unions were optimistic that the government would listen to their demands.

The unions described the IPPIS platform as defective and problematic, and urged the petroleum minister to intervene in the matter to avert crisis in the oil sector.

They further expressed shocked that though the Federal Government recently revived the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, where all affected agencies were currently on, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation still insisted on enrolling oil workers on the IPPIS platform.

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