April 14, 2023

No local refining, no subsidy removal, NUPENG warns

No local refining, no subsidy removal, NUPENG warns

Ex-President Muhammadu Buhari

By Victor Ahiuma-Young

Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has warned the Federal Government not to contemplate the removal of the subsidy on petrol without local refining capacity, in view of its socio-economic implications on businesses and ordinary Nigerians.

This is contianed in a communiqué by NUPENG leaders at the end of the Union’s National Executive Council, NEC, meeting in Lagos, which deliberated on the state of the nation, especially after the conduct of the 2023 general elections and the increasing statements from Nigerians on the intention of the Federal Government to end the Petroleum Motor Spirit, PMS, subsidy regime, among others.

The communiqué by President and General Secretary of NUPENP, Prince Williams Akporeha, and Afolabi Olawale, said: “NEC-in-Council also examined the recurrent discussions for the removal of subsidy from the PMS, and expresses deep concerns over the failure of the Federal Government to do the needful as severally advised by organised labour that deregulation of the PMS should not be predicated on importation of the product because of all the obvious negative impacts on the socio-economic life of the people and nation in general.

“The Council-in-session expressed disappointment over the failure of government to deliver on its promises of making the three national refineries work before contemplating the removal of the subsidy on this very important economic item in view of the enormous implication and the impact on the economic activities and considering the socio-economic importance of PMS to ordinary Nigerians.“

“The NEC-in-session reaffirms that in as much as our inion is not averse to the removal of PMS subsidy, the Federal Government must ensure that our local refineries are put into full operation before a such major policy decision is taken in the interest of the generality of Nigerians.”

On the just concluded general elections, NUPENG vowed to resist any attempt to foist interim or undemocratic government on Nigeria after May 29, as being speculated, expressing concerns over the increasing and unending spread of hate, ethnic and religious bigotry by politicians, religious leaders, elites and the youths in the periods leading to and after the conducts of the 2023 general elections at the detriment of the peace, unity, and coexistence of the people of Nigeria.

The union said: “The NEC-in session affirms that the 2023 general elections marked another watershed in the democratic journey of our nation wherein the youths adequately mobilised and participated in the electoral processes, and wherein the political parties of 20 sitting governors lost to opposition parties and quite unlike before wherein seven sitting governors lost their bids to become Senators, after their tenure expired as governors of their respective states.

“The council-in-session admits that without any doubt, there are still some irregularities in the conducts of the election but opines that rather than fan embers of division and disillusionment among Nigerians, patriotic Nigerians should rise in unison to galvanise the citizenry to mend broken relationships and heal whatever wounds might have been inflicted on one another and collectively strive towards improving our electoral processes as we move forward.”

The council-in-session condemns in very strong terms the inciting and seditious statements of some individuals, who were in very unfortunate manners calling out the Military to take over power, and people to take up arms against the inauguration of a new government/installation of an interim government.”