Oil installations in the country could be shut down as Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, and its Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, have threatened to embark on a three-day warning strike from Wednesday.
The industrial action is on concerns of alleged forceful enrollment of members into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS.
An informed sourced told BusinessDay that NUPENG and PENGASSAN had written to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and that of Labour and Employment, protesting the decision of the Federal Government to stop the payment of salaries of oil workers in government parastatals yet to be captured on IPPIS platform as at Thursday, June 18.
Also, an official of PENGASSAN lamented that the oil workers’ unions had been meeting with the management of IPPIS over the matter for a long time without any headway, insisting that oil workers in the public sector have rejected IPPIS.
According to him, “We have intimated Minister of Labour and Employment as well as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
“The ball is in the court of the Federal Government to apprehend the matter before it degenerates. Even up till last Friday, we still wrote letters to the government on the need to address the matter.
“We have already asked our members to be ready for any eventuality. So, between Monday and the close of work on Tuesday, if nothing concrete comes from the Federal Government, we will have no option than to direct our members to proceed on three days warning strike from Wednesday, June 24.”
The letter to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, dated June 19, 2020, was entitled: ‘Re: Enrollment of Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, a reminder.
The letter of threat to strike over IPPIS, signed by General Secretary of PENGASSAN, Lumumba Okungbowa and General Secretary of NUPENG, Olawale Afolabi, called on the minister, Timipre Sylva, to intervene in the matter and prevail on the Accountant-General of the Federation to desist from forcefully enrolling its members.
The letter read in part: “We are in receipt of a copy of a directive from the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, directing the Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies to register their staff on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, platform on or before Thursday, June 18; threatening the further release of Personnel Cost if the directive is ignored.
“Please be informed that the Association/Union apprehension about the IPPIS platform stems from the fact that it discountenances the peculiarities of the oil and gas industry with regards to Collective Bargaining Agreement, CBA, and approved pay structure between Union and Federal Government through the Salaries, Wages, Income Commission.
“Recall that through a committee set by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, we have been meeting with the IPPIS to consider its peculiarities in coming unto the IPPIS platform, instead of a blanket implementation.
“These talks have not been concluded and we called for a resumption of talks in order to resolve the issues raised and, where required, provide additional information to the IPPIS,” then added their threat to strike over IPPIS.