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Oil Industry Workers See Foreign Influence Over Failure of Oil Bill

Nigeria’s National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has blamed the influence of multinational oil companies for the failure of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in the National Assembly, first tabled in 2009.

NUPENG union president Achese Igwe told journalists that the oil companies employed "mundane politics of procrastination and self-aggrandizement” to derail the legislation, adding, "We now know better that the Herculean task of passing the bill must have been orchestrated by the mundane politics of procrastination and self aggrandizement of the Shell Petroleum Development Company and other oil companies who considered the involvement of the unions of the sale of oil blocs as anathema. The most worrisome aspect is wicked conversion of labor/manpower contracts to service contracts and their fragmentation to very little tenures, which are reduced to short tenures to make unionization drive impossible. These workers have no conditions of service or severance benefits and the contractors pay whatever they like and most times owed salaries for upward of six months," The Abuja Daily Trust reported.

While Nigeria is currently Africa’s largest oil producer, the industry has consistently been criticized as rife with corruption and significant disparities between management and the oilfield workers, with the issue of oil revenues also provoking unrest in the nation’s oil producing regions, most notably in the form of the armed resistance of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, or MEND.

By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com

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