The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) said it has concluded arrangements to celebrate its 40th anniversary in Abuja on Thursday with President Muhammadu Buhari as the special guest of honour. The event which is billed to take place at the Transcorp Hotel will equally be attended by Africa’s richest man and president of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliku Dangote alongside Group General Manager of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru. Both men will be attending as guest of honours. PENGASSAN President Comrade Francis Olabode Johnson disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja yesterday. As part of the anniversary celebration the union said it will honour past leaders of the association and other Nigerians who have contributed in one way of the other to the continued corporate existence of the country.
In addition to creating jobs as part of its social responsibility towards reducing unemployment. Comrade Johnson who noted that leaders of PENGASSAN along other Trade Unions and civil society groups were at the forefront of struggle for the actualization June 12, 1993 election which was annulled by former President Ibrahim Babangida. He noted that the struggle led to the takeover of the Association and the imposition of an Administrator on the Association by the then military regime. According to him such valuable contribution of the association gave birth to the current democratic dispensation being enjoyed in the country “ PENGASSAN, has collaborated with other social partners in the growth and development of the Nigerian nation,”he said.
He listed the erstwhile leaders earmarked for honour at the event to include it former President, Comrade Ganiu Owoduni, General Secretary, Comrades Milton Gilchrist Dabibi and Comrade Frank Addo, whom he said suffered varying degrees of persecution and were even jailed in the course of the struggle. As part of the association’s contribution to job creation, Comrade Johnson said, the association is set to establish Digital Business Centre in Port Harcourt, Warri and in all the zones, “this is to enable the association to create job to ease the burden of unemployment in the society for other Nigerians who are not working in the oil and gas sector,” he started.
Speaking on the association’s contributions to stabilising oil and gas industry, Comrade Johnson said, “PENGASSAN have been involved in several policy engagements that led to the development of the Oil and Gas industry and the Nation’s economy such as the resolution of the Joint Venture (JV) Cash Call, contributions to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), leading advocacy for local content and indigenous participation in the nation’s hydrocarbon business, as well as regulation of the Contract and Casual Employment, among others. Indeed, the Association has been complementing the efforts of the Government in building a virile and productive economy.”