Full Text of President of NUPENG, Comrade Williams Akporeha, During a Courtesy Vist To President Buhari At The Villa

ADDRESS OF COMRADE PRINCE WILLIAMS AKPOREHA, THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIA UNION OF PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS WORKERS ON THE OCCASION OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEMBERS OF THE UNION’S COURTESY VISIT TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI, (GCFR), PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE 13TH OF DECEMBER, 2018.

Your Excellency,
President Muhammadu Buhari, (GCFR)
President and Commander-In-Chief of The Armed Forces of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

It is with great pleasure and special honour that I lead these arrays of committed National Executive Council members of our great Union on this unique courtesy visit to your Excellency Sir. I am therefore specially privilege to deliver this short address on their behalf.

Your Excellency, we feel so fulfilled today with this courtesy visit considering our collective yearning to have an audience with you, right from the day our administration came on board on the 6th of April this year after the successful conduct of the 4th quadrennial Delegates Conference of our Union in Port Harcourt, Rivers States.

May we use this medium to thank God Almighty for bringing you in as our special Surgeon at a very critical point when our Country was bleeding profusely from the fatal injuries severally inflicted on her from various gunshots of corruption and his attendant malfeasances. Your Excellency came on board and stopped the bleeding, putting our nation back on the path of recovery. If no other acknowledges it, we wish to formerly affirm it and we are very proud of your unparallel achievement of pulling our Country out of recession silently and rigorously laying sound foundation for a new Nigeria of fiscal discipline and prosperity for all.

Your administration’s practical steps in bridging the wide gaps between the rich and the poor in the Country through various initiatives and policies such as Trader moni, support for farmers, embargoes on luxury/ostentatious goods, TSA, School feeding etc. have gone a long way in alleviating poverty in the Country.

Similarly Sir, NUPENG stands to be identified with you in the areas of infrastructural development in almost all sectors of the national life, we see this in areas of education, agriculture, Power, Housing, Sport, creative Industry and most importantly Transportation as evident in aviation, railway and road infrastructural development.

On the issue of roads repairs, rehabilitation and construction, we feel so excited because it has significantly improved on the lives and businesses of Nigerians particularly our members who traverse the length and breadth of this country to ensure supply of petroleum products for private, domestic, commercial and industrial use, that is the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) Branch of NUPENG.

As we all know, the socio-economic development and subsequent economic growth of any nation is strongly linked to the quality and quantity of infrastructure. Sir, we give kudos to you and your team for designing your budget patriotically so as to consolidate the achievements of previous budgets to deliver on Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan as envisaged by your current government.

In recognition of your unparallel commitment and devotion to a new Nigeria that adequately protects and provides for the citizenry and earns global respect and recognition, the entire rank and file members of the Union confer on you as part of NUPENG 40th Anniversary celebration, the award of GRAND COMRADE of the Productive Workers of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry.

Congratulations!!! Comrade, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR, GCPW).

At this juncture sir, we will like to raise few issues that are of interest to the rank and file members of our great Union. As your Excellency is evidently aware, the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry has for several years now in dire need of comprehensive reforms to engender transparency, accountability and appreciable returns on investment, unfortunately, the much-anticipated reforms from the Petroleum Industry Bill have been hanging in the air due to one controversy or the other. It is therefore our hope and expectation that your Midas hands will reach this seemingly intractable matter and resolve it for the good of our industry and the nation in general.

In same vein, the continuing dependence on importation of Petroleum Products for consumption in this Country is really a matter of serious concerns to us. We are deeply worried and bothered that as a Country and one of the largest producers of crude Oil and Gas, we are dependent on other nations to refine our petroleum products.

Without any doubt, every patriotic citizen of this Country should be worried. Our Refineries for several part of this year have not been working, leaving our members redundant, coupled with capital flight occasioned by the importation. We are exporting jobs to Countries that are refining these products for us. We earnestly urge your Excellency to rescue these Refineries and make them work again by doubling your present efforts.

Again your Excellency Comrade President Sir, the issue of ways and manner the provisions of Local Contents Monitoring and Development Act is being executed in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry vis a vis the increasing wave of indecent and precarious employment in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry can best be described as a disappointment and inadvertently contributing to making young Nigerian graduates so desperate and frustrated to the extent of embarking on suicidal migration to Europe and America.

It is worthy to note that the Unions in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry worked tirelessly to see to the passage into law of the Nigeria Contents Monitoring and Development Board (NCMDB) Act, because it was anticipated that it will aid and support the protection of the rights and job interests of Nigerian Workers. Unfortunately, the reverse is the situation because there is the erroneous perception that the intention of the Act was to create as many Indigenous Contractors as much as possible without minding the nature of jobs these Contractors are giving to Nigerians. Even your executive order of Nigeria first on employment issues is being blazingly disregarded.

Your Excellency Sir, it will interest you to know that, Multi-national Oil Companies and the Indigenous are no longer employing Nigerian young Technical, Vocational, Polytechnic and University graduates on permanent basis. The general practice now is indecent and precarious employment. The rights, benefits and jobs security of these hapless Nigerians are being generally denied and violated. Including but not limited to freedom to belong to the Trade Union.

It is our prayers therefore, for your Presidential directive to ensure that a key condition in securing contracts in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry should be readiness to employ at least 75% of all cadre on permanent basis and also allow all workers to freely associate with any registered Trade Union in the Industry. We wish to further appeal to your Excellency to consider the overhauling and amendment of the NCMDB Act for inclusion of dissent jobs and other stakeholders.

On the final note Sir, the Challenge of Petroleum Pipelines Vandalisation is also of crucial and critical concern to our Union. We are seriously bothered about the quantity of products theft and its accompanied revenue loss to the nation.

The act of economic sabotage called Pipelines rupturing, resulting in the forceful abandonment of the Country Petroleum Products Strategic depots turning these places into economic deserts and further deepening the poverty levels of Nigerians.

We should not also forget that this same situation created the monster of traffic gridlock in Apapa, Lagos with its attendant environmental and safety challenges.

We pray to ask your Excellency to reconsider among your other approaches to resolving this menace by mandating Commissioners of Police, Area Commanders, Divisional Policer Officers and all cadres of Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps in all right of ways of these Pipeline to ensure adequate protection and surveillance over them and subsequently hold them responsible and accountable wherever and whenever the rupture occurs.

These Economic Saboteurs are not Spirits, they are humans and are living with us, they cannot be more powerful than all of us.

On this note Sir, we sincerely want to thank you for granting us this historic audience which will definitely go a long way in rekindling the confidence and love of our members for your God sent administration.

We urge you to unrelentingly continue the good work you are doing for our great Country.

The entire productive workers of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry, therefore wish you Merry Christmas and most importantly prosperous and victorious 2019.

Solidarity Forever!

Long Live our dear Grand Comrade

Long Live Productive Workers of Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry!

Long Live NUPENG!!

Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

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