By Ochuko Akuopha
OLEH—FITTERS Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, FISSAN, has alleged incessant outsourcing of construction projects in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector by foreign-based companies, lamenting that the country’s economy was crawling due to capital flight.
FISSAN, in a statement by its General Secretary, Morrister Idibra, urged the Ministries of Petroleum Resources and Labour and Employment to facilitate partnership and consultations with unions of professional bodies in the sector for the provision of needed manpower to take care of excuses of lack of requisite experience to handle such jobs.
He said: “Companies involved in the development of the oil and gas sector are foreign-based and have been doing everything to keep their people in jobs to the detriment of Nigerians.”
“Many projects being executed in Nigeria have over 80 percent of their fabrication done in their home countries with the excuse of lack of space (fabrication yards) and lack of needed manpower skills.
“Projects such as the just concluded Escavos Gas to Liquid Project, EGTL (2008-2014) had over 80 percent of the skids and vessels fabricated outside Nigeria and were only brought in for installation which is less than 20 percent.
“While employment is created for their people and economic boom is experienced in their countries as these projects are in dollars, seasoned professionals such as fitters are unemployed here in Nigeria.
“In order to still keep their people employed, when coming for the installation of these jobs executed outside Nigeria, outsourcing comes to play again. They tell the government of Nigeria through the relevant agencies that there are no qualified and competent hands in Nigeria that can do the jobs.
“They therefore, ask for permission to come with those they call ‘expatiates’ and hastily, our government gives them unfettered access to bring in their people as expatiates and they are paid in foreign currencies while competent and qualified Nigerians remain unemployed with its associated multiplier effect.”