By Emeka Mamah
KADUNA â€” The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has said that the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Rilwanu Lukman, lied when he said labour has givenÂ go-ahead to the Federal Government to deregulate the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
NUPENGâ€™s Deputy General Secretary (North), Comrade Adamu Song, made this known in an interview with Vanguard in Kaduna, weekend.
Song said although most Nigerians support deregula-tion in principle, the type being proposed by the FG was to guarantee employ-ment for people in other countries, from where Nigeria will continue to import the finished products.
He said it was wrong for the government to sack its workers and at the same time create employment for citizens of foreign countries.
NUPENG supports deregulation, if…
According to Comrade Song, the only way NUPENG will support deregulation is when â€œwe start producing petrol locally, because apart from providing employment for Nigerians, the by-products will be used by other allied companies.â€
He said, â€œNUPENG was worried over the activities ofÂ Dr. Lukman, because he has not only outlived his usefulness but also is an agent of foreign interests.
â€œDeregulation, as currently being packaged by Lukman is to guarantee employment for people in other countries while we import. We cannot be sacking our workers and be creating employment in foreign lands.
â€œIf we start production of petrol in the country, Nigerians will be ready to pay any cost, because apart from the fact that there will be more employment opportunities, the other by-products like coal tar, kerosene, â€˜black oilâ€™, among others, will be cheaper.
‘Rilwanu should leave’
â€œAs I said, it is possible that Rilwanu Lukman is an imposition by foreign interests, otherwise the man has outlived his usefulness in government and only God knows what he is doing there at his age.
â€œHe should leave the stage and give way for people with better ideas. He should be sacked if he does not leave on his own, because the theory of diminishing returns has set in.â€