By Tanko Mohammed
Some branches of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have commenced a three-day warning strike to protest the “shoddy” manner their members were included in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Management System (IPPIS).
The staff members representing the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR), Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) and Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) gathered at PPPRA head office in Abuja, chanting solidarity songs.
Mr Kelechi Ugwulor, National Industrial Officer of PENGGASSAN, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the strike was informed by the clumsy manner in which the agencies were enrolled on the IPPIS.
Ugwulor said that, though the union supported all government’s effort to achieve transparency and accountability in government, it should not be to the detriment of the oil workers.
“We are concerned with the ways our members in some government agencies are being treated with respect to IPPIS.
“In the month of September, our members in NNRA had huge sums of money deducted from their salaries, and we have decided that enough is enough.
“We are not averse to instruments of transparency in this country. Any system that offers accountability to the governance of Nigeria we are in for it, but do not do injustice to our members,’’ he warned.
He vowed that the industrial action will continue until their grievances are addressed.
Mr Efreke Udeme, NNRA Branch Chairman of PENGASSAN, said that `bastardisation’’ of staff salaries of the agencies concerned and non release of statutory allocation of some of the agencies were responsible for the action.
He called on relevant government officials to address the issues as a matter of priority.
“Our grievances include bastardisation of our salaries by IPPIS and non release of personnel cost for PPPRA and PTI for August, 2020.
“Salaries arrears from March 2015 to Dec. 2016 are also outstanding in NNRA,’’ he said.
He urged IPPIS to harmonise peculiarity allowances of all the agencies in their emoluments.
The IPPIS is a Department under the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation responsible for payment of salaries and wages directly to Government employee’s bank accounts.