By Daniel Alfred
FOLLOWING the controversy which has continue to trail the 3rd quarter oil import allocation to marketers the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG) has urged the Petroleum Product Price Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to keep itsÂ board members more involved in products allocation exercise as well as to put a stop to cabal practise in the downstream oil sector.
NUPENG President, Comrade Achese Igwe made this statement during a press briefing made at the Unionâ€™s Secretariat in Lagos recently.
According to him, efforts have been put in place to ensure a proper re-branding ofÂ NUPENG, a feat which has been achieved, even as he also cited the bad state of Nigerian roads which have in time led to the death of union members, even as they allege that the government is doing nothing about it.
â€œGovernment is very insensible in the day to day activities as regards plans and kick off of repairs of bad roads. Our 21 days ultimatum has expired and we shall starve Abuja of petroleum productâ€. He said.
He added that the common man is being affected and that in the next dispensation that the right thing would be done by them.
â€œThe roads have been abandoned. Nigeria have all the technical hands to compete in any oil environment, they have all the qualities to function and to make the refineries work effectively.
These refineries have been abandoned for more than 10years without maintenance. NUPENG is saying no to sales of refineries. All stakeholders should be involved in decision makingâ€ He said.
Also speaking on the scheme of works in the country, he said as a worker we need to have a pension scheme which is what we lack here in this country. He added that some workers doesnâ€™t have a pension scheme as stipulated by Law and if a job runs beyond six months, it should be permanent which the law says.
â€œThis practise in question is not applicable in the country. We have a legislative council that cannot play their role in controlling the nations economy. The citizens who perform those common jobs are also helping.
They also contribute to the activities of this country and should not be taken for granted. The local content have been approved which we all forth for but the problem is will Nigeria see the effect of local content developmentâ€
â€œContract staff should be allowed to be unionised. Some of these companies are making sure that they get condition of service for their staff. There are no condition of services for these workers.
This shouldnâ€™t be so. We shall continue to fight the struggle until government comes to handle this issue as it affects the nation. Government must have the interest of its workers at heart. We are embarking on a 21 days strike because they donâ€™t know what the people feel about thatâ€ He said.
Further more, he said â€œPPPRA needs to keep us posted on what is happening. Some of the marketers requested who requested for 30,000 metric tones of product will be given 300,000 even when they donâ€™t have the capacity to store these products. Some of them donâ€™t have depots and storage facilities for these products. Then why should that be so? The question is how do they get the products and when do they store them.â€
â€œAs NUPENG hundred percent, we have said that petroleum importation should not be a stop guard to the nations economy. Government should build refineries and they should find a way to make the refineries work. PPPRA must coma back and tell us how the issues of allocation is handledâ€ He said.
Therefore, â€œAs NUPENG, we cant be fixed in such a decision making process. Some of our founding fathers where incarcerated because of democracy. After all these years, they are asking us to keep quiet. No we wont do that.
Nigerian mus be told the truth. As a union we have a responsibility to fight for our members and that is what we are doing. The board of PPPRA should be restructured and the right persons should be given the opportunity to do the jobâ€. He said.