The Federal Government in a bid to improve existing guidelines on Labour Administration in the oil and gas sector is set to tackle problems in outsourcing and contract staffing in the sector to enhance healthy working relations for the benefit of all parties.
The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige made this known in his opening address at a Stakeholders Meeting for the Review of Guidelines on Labour Administration: Issues in Contract Staffing/ Outsourcing in the Oil and Gas Sector, held in Lagos.
Ngige explained that the Federal Government through the Ministry of Labour and Employment was extending the frontiers of interaction to Social Partners in the sector to create a more conducive environment for the maintenance of industrial peace and harmony in workplaces. He said that the Ministry at the wake of plethora of complaints of unfair labour practices, collaborated with relevant stakeholders to develop the Guidelines for the Oil and Gas Sector, which had become a compendium for resolving industrial relations issues in the sector, and a review at this time was necessary as it will signify another milestone in the collective resolve to preserve the good working relations among all actors in the sector which is currently the most important annual life line to the National Economy .
He noted that the document to be reviewed was created from a collation of observations and recommendations of the Tripartite Technical Working Group (TTWG), and grey areas identified by stakeholders which were not covered by the 2011 Guidelines with respect to issues arising from differences between permanent and fixed contract to permanent employment, unionization and collective bargaining amongst others that are confronting the oil and gas sector. He added that this review will chart a new course in the sector in line with global best practice for sustained growth and development in the sector.
The Minister therefore urged participants to give the meeting the serious attention it deserved and develop a document that will ultimately bring sanity to the sectors’ industrial relations’ space for the benefit of the nation.
On his part, the Minister of state, Barr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), in a welcome address said that a review of the Guidelines will further assist the Federal Government and International Oil Companies (IOCs) in effectively addressing labour issues arising from contract employments/outsourcing occasioned by diversification of operators by some Oil Companies in Nigeria.
Keyamo maintained that the ministry, regardless of challenges that may be faced, will sustain its momentum in driving this particular process to ensure a peaceful and harmonious working relationship among all the players in the sector is reached.
Also speaking at the meeting, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ms Kachollom Daju mni, emphaised the importance of reviewing regulations in the ever-changing world of work to meet global best practices. She said that it was with this in mind that the Ministry was reviewing the Guidelines on Labour Administration in the oil and gas sector for better efficiency.
Daju commended stakeholders for all its continued support in this process whilst wishing participants a fruitful deliberation.
Director, Press and Public Relations Department