The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a substantive minister for the petroleum sector in his second term.
On Friday, March 22, PENGASSAN’s President, Francis Johnson, made the appeal in Lagos at the association’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.
Johnson held that separating both offices will allow for a more efficient and effective management of the oil and gas sector.
He recalled that President Buhari has in the last 4 years, combined his position with that of petroleum minister, while Ibe Kachukwu, was appointed minister of state for petroleum.
He also noted that Stakeholders had argued that the combination of the office of the President and minister of petroleum, was not in the interest of the economy, as he was bogged down with enormous responsibilities to pay enough attention to a sector that was the main stay of the nation’s economy.
Johnson however commended the incumbent administration’s efforts to the fight against corruption and urged it to sustain the tempo. “NEC-in-Session believes that the fight against corruption should not be allowed to shrink but rather sustained to cover all sectors and maintain the gains of the present dispensation.
“NEC-in-Session demands that government should make all efforts to see that all recovered looted funds are accounted for and re-invested in the economy to reduce unemployment,” Johnson said.
On human capital development and labour issues, he urged the government to channel the human capital potential of citizens toward optimising productivity and economic growth of a nation that all craved for. He said that the union had vowed to confront all industrial issues with utmost seriousness, as the general elections were over and warned “all recalcitrant companies violating the Nigerian laws to brace up for a rude awakening”. On security, the union leader called for more funding in support of the recently released 1 billion dollars earmarked for fighting insurgency and the acquisition/provision of equipment for various security agencies.