Trade Unions’ Statement on the Establishment of Somali Petroleum Authority (SPA)

The Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU) and the working class are celebrating and broadly welcoming the establishment of Somali Petroleum Authority (SPA) by Somalia’s Council of Ministers and appointment of Mr Ibrahim Ali Hussein as the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the SPA during the cabinet meeting on Thursday, 30th July 2020. 

The Council of Ministers have made history by appointing the first board of the Somali Petroleum Authority (SPA) as stipulated in the petroleum law. The board is mandated to ensure the right systems, processes and human resources are in place to steer the petroleum sector forward. Understandably, the establishment of SPA could not come at a more appropriate time. 

Workers and their trade unions are confident that Mr. Ibrahim Ali Hussein is the right person for the job and that he will perform his duties with diligence, professionalism and commitment to his people.  His rich experience and qualification in the petroleum and gas field is an added advantage. He has demonstrated his leadership and negotiations skills beyond reasonable doubt during the development of the petroleum law as he has accommodated standpoints of all concerned stakeholders including submissions from trade unions, specially on the defense of workers’ rights and environmental protection. 

As the Chair of the National Steering Committee of Oil for Development (OfD) which is FESTU is an active member, Ibrahim Ali Hussein provided excellent leadership and has served with honour and integrity. 

FESTU urges the new leadership of SPA to always ensure firmness and honesty in all operational activities based on good work ethics, absence of corruption, loyalty, sincerity and truthfulness so that SPA becomes a true catalyst for economic development and inclusive growth for all Somalis.

As a matter of utmost priority, SPA should always endeavour to effectively enforce the principles of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, which spells out four key principles: abolition of child labour, elimination of forced labour, elimination of workplace discrimination and harassment, and recognition of freedom of association.

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