OrderPaperToday-The House of Representatives has resolved to probe allegations of Labour laws violation by international oil companies.

The lawmakers mandated its Committees on Labour, Employment, and Productivity, Local Content, Gas Resources, and  Petroleum (Downstream) are conduct the investigation.

This was sequel to a the approval of a motion moved by Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia) entitled, “Need to investigate the alleged violation of labour laws by international oil companies”.

Moving the motion, Kalu faulted the casualisation of staff engaged by International oil companies (IOCs), which according to him, creates uncertainty.

The lawmaker made reference to a report published by the Campaign for Democratic Workers Rights which “pegged the number of casual workers in the Nigerian workforce at 45%, and also stated that 50% of the burden of casualisation exists in the downstream oil and gas sub sectors of the economy, telecommunications.”

Kalu, who is the spokesperson of the House, disclosed that the issue has generated lots of dispute between IOCs and oil workers union.

According to Kalu, industrial action in the sector could cost Nigeria over N100billion daily.

“Since the early 2000s, the Nigerian oil sector has suffered the effects of incessant disputes between International Oil Companies (IOCs) and organised labour unions over allegations of unfair labour practices leveled against IOCs.

“On several occasions, the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) had planned industrial actions which had threatened nationwide fuel scarcity and hurt the economy as Nigeria stands to lose over N100billion per day in the event of an industrial strike action by NUPENG.”

He noted further that practices against workers still abound in the sector despite vows by the federal government to intervene.

“Sometime in July 2018, in light of the frequency of those allegations, the federal government announced a plan to reform the process of granting and renewing recruiters license to labour contractors with the aim of ensuring adherence to expatriate quotas and eschewing unfair labour practices. Despite that, allegations of unfair labour practices by IOCs still abound,” he said.

Supporting the motion, Sergious Ogun (PDP, Edo) disclosed that the Local Content Committee is currently doing a tour on local content compliance.

“We (committee on local content) are on sensitisation tour, last week we were at Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and we raised the issue.”

The House, therefore, resolved to “urge the Honourable Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity and other appropriate Ministries, Departments and Agencies to address the challenges of exploitation and abuses of workers in the oil and gas sector.

The lawmakers also “asked the Honourable Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity to provide to the Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity with a performance update and report concerning plan to reform the process of granting and renewing recruiters license to labour contractors as announced in July 2018.”

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