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Oil workers commence three-day warning strike over IPPIS, non-payment of three-month salaries

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MEMBERS of  Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), which is affiliated to the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources on Wednesday commenced a three-day warning strike over unpaid salary arrears.

The senior oil workers are protesting the Federal Government’s refusal to pay them three-month salary arrears being owed them and for forcefully enlisting them workers into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

Fortune Obi, spokesperson of PENGASSAN, in a statement, said if their demands were not met at the end of the three-day warning, it would escalate across the country.

“It’s a three-day warning strike by members in the government regulatory agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum basically because of their inclusion in the IPPIS system, which we have rejected abinitio, due to the various challenges we have had with it and the associated inefficiencies,” Obi said.

He explained that the Federal Government was not convincing about the IPPIS to manage the peculiarities of the oil and gas sector, saying that conscripting civil servants into the system with different allowances was erroneous.

“We are saying we work in a peculiar sector where our members earn some allowances different from the civil service structure. Forcing oil workers into that platform without capturing their peculiarities is unacceptable which is why our members in these agencies have not been paid their salaries,” he said.

The IPPIS payment system was designed to provide a means of automating staff records of the Federal Public Service to enhance data integrity, eliminate ghost workers and facilitate efficient service delivery.

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It currently has incorporated the payment plan in the Human Resource (HR) module of the Federal Civil Service.

“PENGASSAN has resolved about the system long ago. We want assurance that this system is robust enough to handle the challenges of the oil sector,” Obi added.

Other oil workers involved in the strike include the staff of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF), and the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NNRA).

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Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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