The Elf Petroleum Nigeria Limited (EPNL) Branch of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) on Saturday, 25th May 2008, elected its new leadership unopposed at the Second Triennial Delegates Conference. The conference with the theme: Casualisation in the Oil Industry: The Way Forward was held at the Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt.
Comrade Austin Ohwo emerged as the new Chairman of the Branch Executive Council (BEC) at the three-day conference which ended on Monday, 26th May 2008. The election also produced Comrade John Ileh as Vice Chairman, Comrade Emmanuel Ekut as Secretary, Comrade Igwe Andrew as Assistant Secretary, Comrade Sopirinye Epelle as Treasurer, Comrade Theophilus Nwakonko as Financial Secretary, Comrade Onuchukwu Nnamdi as Auditor, Comrade Senan Murray as Public Relations Officer and Comrade Anthony Ighomuaye as Industrial Relations Officer.
Delegates to the conference issued a five-point resolution covering Casualisation/Contract Staffing, Insecurity in the Niger Delta, Cost Optimisation Exercise, Expatriate Quota and Association Activities.
The Managing Director, Mr. Jacques Marraud des Grottes, who led Management’s Delegation to the conference, said he looked forward to working harmoniously with the new executive. Other members of the delegation were the Deputy Managing Director (Corporate), Mr. Alek Musa; the Executive General Manager, Nigerian Content and Technical Services, Mr. Olubunmi Obembe; General Manager, Human Resources & Internal Communications, Mr. Peter Igbinovia; Deputy General Manager, Human Resources, Mrs. Edith Ofili-Okonkwo; Manager, Employee Relations & Benefits, Mr. Paul Odekina; and Head, Employee Relations, Mrs. Kenechi Esomeju.
In his post-election speech, Comrade Ohwo noted that the new branch executive was an all-inclusive one with representations from all the chapters of PENGASSAN in EPNL. He solicited the support of every single member in taking the union to the next level and thanked the national executive for gracing the occasion and contributing to its success.
“We wish to thank the Management for not only attending the conference, but for also supporting and sponsoring the entire event. This is the way it should be and we pray for continued mutual understanding and support,” he said.
Earlier, in a keynote address, the Managing Director (MD), who was the Special Guest of Honour, outlined developments that have characterised the company’s operations in recent years, noting that despite the odds Total, both at the Group and subsidiary level has continued to record many successes.
“I believe that together, we can contribute to the goal of peace in our environment, prosperity for ourselves, our organisation and building a better future for Nigeria,” he said as he expressed the hope that the new executive will demonstrate a willingness to work with management.
In an enlightening paper on Casualisation in the Oil Industry: The Way Forward, a Deputy Director of Labour, Federal Ministry of Labour, Mrs. O. Olarenwaju; noted that Contract Staffing could not be wished away but all had a responsibility to give it a human face. She was represented by the Chief Labour Officer, Federal Ministry of Labour, Port Harcourt, Mrs. Akpan.
In his address, the new National President of PENGASSAN, Comrade Babatunde Ogun; averred that Casualisation had made the industry less challenging and unattractive. He observed that union leadership is no longer a social issue but a crusade to sustainable and promising future for better quality of work life.
Also speaking, Mr. Igbinovia observed that PENGASSAN and EPNL have had a long and beneficial relationship working together for the common purpose of ensuring a good career and welfare system for Staff. He enjoined the new executive to adopt dialogue as the preferred mode of working with management.
The slideshow below completes the story.