By Prince Okafor
The United Labour Congress (ULC), Lagos State Council has appealed to Federal Government to release the Chairman of Capital Oil and Gas Plc, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, in order to pave the way for negotiation with management of the company.
This is coming on the heels of resolving disagreement between Federal Government and the company’s chairman as well as saving jobs of workers and the business in the depot.
In a statement signed by the Chairman, ULC, Comrade Tokunbo Korodo, it stated: “We are aware of government’s promise to provide jobs for Nigerians, made during their electioneering campaign with the desire to tackle unemployment once and for all. But what we are witnessing now is a departure from the promise the ruling Government made to the good people of this great country in terms of job creation.
“Instead, they are incapacitating companies with capacity to create employment by enacting policies inimical to industrial growth. “
The statement further reads: “A case in point is the incarceration of the chief executive of Capital Oil and Gas on unproved grounds that he committed a crime punishable by death for diverting over 80 million liters of PMS amounting to 11 billion Naira.
“Much as we do not support acts of corruption and diversion of public funds, we are of the opinion that Government should not deny their citizens of the right to free movement and space to prove their innocence, especially when such decision threatens the live and livelihood of over two thousand Nigerian workers.
“The continued detention of the Chief Executive of Capital Oil and Gas Limited without having been found guilty of the purported offence by a competent court of law smacks of a vendetta that aims to cripple the management of Capital Oil and Gas Limited and by extension the security of the jobs of over two thousand workers in their employment.
“The contract to our findings was not the first time the NNPC and the capital oil and Gas Ltd would do business of this magnitude together. If this is a case of a breach of contract, it should be treated as such with respect to law and due process, with regard to negotiating terms of settlement and saving the jobs of over two thousand Nigerian workers including Tanker drivers and other auxiliary workers within the depot.
“We are also mindful of the fact that the same company, over three years ago rescued the nation from perennial fuel scarcity when other independent marketers refused to import petroleum product or hoard same, due to government’s rescission on payment of subsidy on petroleum product.
“Records have it that the company, capital oil and gas employed well over two thousand workers, and this to us in the United Labour Congress (ULC), Lagos State Council; is a big support to the Federal Government quest for jobs creation. Such indigenously owned business needs to be encouraged to thrive, and not be cowed out of existence.
“We therefore appeal and urge the Federal Government and its agency to provide fairness by releasing the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer of Capital Oil and Gas Limited to enable him unlimited access to proper legal guide and openness to defend himself as his continued incarceration is proving its toll on the management of the company and the continued employment of workers in their employ. This will enshrine indelibly the Federal Government’s Commitment to securing the Lives and Livelihood of Nigerian Workers,” the statement added.