PENGASSAN Suspends Strike Action

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Sylvester Idowu in Warri

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has suspended its industrial action five days after the association kicked off the action over the implementation of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

PENGASSAN’s General-Secretary, Mr. Lumumba Okugbawa announced the cessation in a statement he issued yesterday on behalf of the association.

The association had on November 2 issued a seven-day ultimatum and a further extension to the relevant government agencies and institutions on IPPIS.

In its statement, the association said upon the expiration of the ultimatum, nothing concrete was done with regards to the outstanding issues as enumerated in the letter.

It said: “In view of the above and with expiration of the ultimatum and subsequent extension, you are hereby advised to withdraw your services effective 12 midnight on Sunday, November 8.

“Please ensure that your branch members fully comply with this directive while you await further directives,” the statement said.

But in another terse statement Thursday, PENGASSAN directed its members to suspend the strike in response to the intervention of the federal government over their demands.

The statement read in part: “Comrades , please be informed that based on the intervention of the FML&E and the GMD NNPC, the current industrial action is hereby suspended from midnight today (Thursday November 12). A formal letter on the subject will be sent soon. Your support, understanding and solidarity is highly appreciated.”

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), PENGASSAN as well as the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Workers Union (NUPENG) and the federal government have been at loggerheads over the IPPIS.

Consequently, the senior oil workers body had last Sunday night directed its members to proceed on a nationwide indefinite strike.

PENGASSAN had claimed that the directive became exigent over the federal government’s breach in agreement on IPPIS implementation and redundancy in Baker Hughes.

IPPIS is an information Communications Technology (ICT) project initiated by the federal government to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of payroll administration for its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).