By Victor Ahiuma-Young
Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, yesterday, said it was ready to partner with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to end the perennial fuel scarcity in the country.
In a statement by its President, Mr. Achese Igwe, the union noted that it had the capacity, men and will to do that and called for collaboration with the NNPC to end the endemic shortage.
According to the statement: “NUPENG makes bold to say that 60 per cent of its members are involved in the distribution chain. Most of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN and National Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO members are either NUPENG members or were former members and with collaboration with them, we will be able to get the issue right and end the present scarcity.”
On privatization, the union warned that “the Federal Government should be careful not to make the same mistakes made by the past administration in the country as it happened in the power sector. We caution that the government should not allow the failure of the privatization process in the power sector to rub on the oil & gas sector.
“NUPENG stresses that all the past privatization processes done by the Bureau for Public Corporation, BPE, were fraught with inadequacies and that government should review the exercises and where necessary revoke their licences.”
NUPENG adds that till date all privatization exercises done lacked transparency.”
The union called on the government to make the refineries work optimally to reduce the dependence on foreign importation of petroleum products, even as urged the government to review the privatization of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, which had become counter-productive and led to serious job losses.
On the issue of transparency, the statement said “NUPENG supports the government’s fight against corruption and enacting transparency in government business especially as it affects the Oil & Gas industry. The Federal government should also assist the marketers through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to procure Foreign Exchange (FOREX) to import petroleum products in order to cushion the biting effects of fuel scarcity. We also enjoin the Federal government to honor and pay all joint venture agreement to end the current lull in the upstream Oil & Gas business.”