Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige has warned that the government will revoke the licence of contractors operating in the oil and gas sector if they continue to promote unfair labour practices.
The minister, who spoke when he received members of the National Administrative Council of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG), said others whose license has expired risk not being renewed. This, he said, is because the Ministry is working on reforming the process of granting and renewing Recruiters Licence to Labour Contractors with the aim of ensuring adherence to expatriate quotas and eschew unfair labour practices.
Ngige said: “I thank you for taking interest in job creation in the oil and gas sector and for observing some lapses on the part of Labour Contractors licensed by the Ministry.
“We have started reforming the process of granting and renewing Recruiters’ License and we will not grant or renew the license of recruiters who compromise by aiding and abetting “yellow dog” contracts, as any recruiters found abusing expatriate quotas will have his license revoked or not renewed.”
He emphasised that this move is in line with the Executive Order of the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that jobs that are reserved for the locals are not given to expatriates as well as protect indigenous products over foreign products.
He added that on the part of the Ministry, efforts are in place to close up identified gaps in the operational guideline and labour laws in the oil and gas sector.
He said: “In 2016, despite the shortfall in the oil revenue, the Federal Government brought both the International Oil Companies and the workers together to agree and fashion out ways to ensure that there is no job loss. This is something to cheer because all parties agreed and we were able to save jobs in the oil and gas sector.
“We were never happy when people lose their job because the pressure will always come back to the government. Today oil prices have picked up and activities have commenced so we expect new jobs to be created in the oil and gas sector.”
He said the desire of workers for decent work is in tandem with the Change Agenda which is aimed at improving the living standards of Nigerian workers and promote the Decent Work Agenda as well as ensure that harmonious milieu that will enhance productivity, occupational safety and health is maintained at workplaces by channeling accrued revenue from crude oil to other sectors thereby steering the nation’s economy on new part of profitable diversification.