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Hybrid solicitors holds annual lecture

Hybrid solicitors recently held its Annual Lecture, tagged ‘The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB): Labour Law, Industrial & Community Relations Challenges’,

 The event which took place at the Banquet Hall of the Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Ikeja had a impressive representation from both the public and private sector.

Guests spotted at the event include, Goodie Ibru, OON, the Chairman of Ikeja Hotels Plc, the Tourist Company of Nigeria Plc and Capital Hotels Plc, Prof. Itse Sagay , SAN, who was the Chairman of the occasion, Prof. M. T. Abdulrazaq, a former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin and Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. Obadina, current Dean of the Faculty of Law, LASU , Mr Uche Attoh, the Head of the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP), Lagos Division, Chief Akintola Fayemila, Member, Industrial Arbitration Panel, Dr. Rosemary Danesi, a lecturer at the University of Lagos, Mr. Fred Agbaje, a Lagos based constitutional lawyer, and the Chief Host, Bimbo Atilola, who is also the Managing Partner of Hybrid Solicitors and Editor-in-Chief, Labour Law Review.

The lecture was delivered by Dr. Ayodele Morocco-Clarke, a partner at Matrix Solicitors, Lagos. The lecture attempted a critical overview of the regime of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) with particular attention on the labour law, industrial and community relations challenges raised by the Bill. The PIB was conceived out of the need to bring the regulatory framework for the petroleum industry in Nigeria up to speed with global standards. It establishes a legal, fiscal and regulatory framework for the petroleum industry in Nigeria, and was presented by President Goodluck Jonathan on the 18th of July, 2012 to the National Assembly. The Bill is an elaborate piece of legislation comprising 362 sections. The lecture analysed some labour, community and industrial issues which may arise from the passing of the Bill into law.

The critical provision as stated, was that of section 356 which relates to transfer of staff from the existing regulatory agencies and the NNPC to the ones created under the Bill, and the variation of terms and conditions of employment arising therefrom. While section 356 (1) and (2) provides for the transfer of the employees on terms and conditions no less favourable than those obtained immediately before the date of commencement of the Law, section 356 (3), (4) and (5) made no such provision. This, the speaker argues implies that those under sub-sections (3), (4) and (5) could be transferred on less favourable terms, if the maxim expression unius est exclusion alterius (meaning the expression of one thing is the exclusion of another) is anything to go by.

This state of affairs created by the Bill, according to the speaker, exists as a result of the absence of a regulation and/or statutes to govern transfer of employments in Nigeria. This is unlike the case in the European Union where the Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 governs the transfer of employment.

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