COMRADE AFOLABI OLAWALE STEPS IN AS NUPENG ACTING GENERAL SECRETARY

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has further strengthened its National Executive Council (NEC) with the appointment of Comrade Afolabi Olawale Olufemi as the General Secretary of the Union in an acting capacity.

Comrade Afolabi until now was NUPENG’s Deputy General Secretary in charge of Operations. He received the leadership baton from Comrade Adamu Song on January 1, 2019, having reached the Union’s mandatory retirement age.

Comrade Afolabi a thorough bred unionist had his first degree in Philosophy at the prestigious University of Lagos in 1991 and subsequently obtained his Masters Degree in Industrial and Labour Relations at University of Ibadan in 1997, he equally acquired Post Graduate Certificate in Labour Policies Studies in 2004 at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.

Afolabi is an astute trade unionist, and has been in active service for over two decades in NUPENG precisely in the areas of Management, Training/Education, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Negotiations. He is known to be very replete with the creation, development and launch of existing viable operations with robust, deep and ingenious ideas.

His skills in Industrial Relations, General Management and Organizational Development were acquired and nurtured over the years in various roles since he pitched his tent with NUPENG, where he spent bulk of his meritorious career.

Before this latest milestone in the Union, Comrade Afolabi was previously known to be diligent in handling the Education and Training of the rank and file of the Union and he was a founding member of Nigerian Labour Movement Educators Forum.

Also to his credit, many Union leaders and branch officials cut their trade union teeth through his numerous relevant trainings and workshops.

The erudite trade unionist also is an alumnus of numerous local and international management and professional programmes in Nigeria and other African countries, United States of America as well as other Southern and Northern American countries, Europe, Middle East and Asia.

This seasoned unionist has also attended various seminars and trainings organized by International Labour Organization (ILO).

There is no doubt absolutely that he will bring his wealth of experience and knowledge to bear in this new appointment.

SIGNED:

COMRADE PRINCE WILLIAMS AKPOREHA

NUPENG NATIONAL PRESIDENT.

Comrade Afolabi Olawale Officially Steps In As NUPENG Acting General Secretary As Adamu Song Bows Out

Comrade Usman Adamu Song who has been the General Secretary of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) since April 2018 has voluntarily resigned and handed over office to Comrade Afolabi Olawale Olufemi after attaining the mandatory retirement age.

The official change of baton in the Union’s National Executive leadership took place on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at NUPENG’s National Secretariat in Jibowu, Lagos.

Comrade Afolabi before this recent milestone was the Union’s Deputy General Secretary in charge of operations.

Those who witnessed the landmark ceremony were the incumbent President of the Union, Comrade (Prince) Williams Akporeha, Comrade Otite Precious Onohwohwo (Principal Assistant General Secretary in charge of Administration), Comrade Anthony Chukwu (Principal Assistant General Secretary in charge of Accounts/Finance), Comrade Adamson Momoh (Principal Assistant General Secretary in charge of Research and Public Affairs), Comrade Lawrence Alabala (Principal Organizing Secretary in charge of Education and Training) and Comrade Oluchi Amaogu (Principal Organizing Secretary-Gender Desk).

An official statement to this latest development would soon be made by the Union.

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FULL TEXT OF NUPENG 2018 CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

On behalf of the National Executive Council of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), I use this auspicious 2018 yuletide season to felicitate with the oil and gas workers, managements, Oil and Gas Stakeholders and all Nigerians, especially our Christian brothers and sisters.

On this occasion of the commemoration of the birth of the saviour, Jesus Christ, let us all realign ourselves to the virtues of industrial peace and harmony in the oil and gas sector, and as we extend love, honesty, justice, equity, humility and faultless service to our neighbours which Christ taught.

Traditionally, this period of every year is mostly given over to holidays, festivities and merriment, but individuals and nations often turn their minds, at this time also, to a degree of introspection on their lives and to taking stock of their achievements and failings in the outgoing year, as well as articulating their hopes and aspirations for the coming year.

It is instructive to note that in the course of the year, NUPENG thankfully recorded a very peaceful Delegates Conference in April 6, this year and successfully capped it with an historic 40th Anniversary celebrations in December.

We wish to use this opportunity to express our gratitude to all members for their loyalty and commitment to the ever continuing struggles for the protection of rights, privileges and improvements in the working conditions of everyone of us.

We also express our profound appreciation to Managements, Government Ministries/ Agencies/Parastatals and Oil and Gas Stakeholders who supported and stood by us in achieving various purposeful milestones this year.

We pledge our commitment not to renege in deepening our gains as a rebranded Union and focus more in applying social dialogue and best practices in dealing with industrial issues whenever they come up.

NUPENG shall continue to count on the goodwill, support and cooperation of all players in the Nigeria’s oil and gas value chain in the coming year as we strive to consolidate on the gains of 2018 and tackle fresh challenges.

We use this opportunity to admonish our government to proactively rededicate itself to the complete and total implementation of the national reforms not just in the petroleum sector, such that Nigeria at large could be better for it.

I wish you all merry Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Signed:
Comrade (Prince) Williams Akporeha
National President of NUPENG

IN PICTURES: President Buhari Hosts Comrade Williams Akporeha, Other CWC Members At Aso Villa

President Muhammadu Buhari received in audience National President of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Comrade Williams Eniredonana Akporeha and his Central Working Committee members at the State House (Aso Villa), Abuja on Thursday, December 13, 2018.

Similarly, Comrade Akporeha in company of the Union’s Acting General Secretary, Comrade Afolabi Olawale and other members of the delegation used the occasion of the courtesy visit to present and decorate President Buhari with an award as GRAND COMRADE of the Productive Workers of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry.

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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!!!

Full Text Of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Remarks During Audience With Leadership Of NUPENG on December 13, 2018

I welcome you to this gathering and thank you for your unflinching support to this administration over the last three years. I regularly receive feedback on your positive and constructive engagements with the government.

No doubt, your support has contributed to the continued uninterrupted supply of products to consumers across the country in the last three years.

May I, therefore, use this opportunity to request that you continue on this patriotic path while assuring you of government’s support to the course of the Nigerian workers at all times.

I fully agree with you that reforming the Petroleum Industry will unlock numerous untapped potentials for the nation. However, these reforms must be well thought out and must have the best interest of Nigeria and Nigerians as its core objective.

Such reforms cannot and must not be rushed if we must get it right.

We are still suffering from the effects of many legacy policies that were rushed and passed without fully appreciating the consequences the provisions embedded in them.

Whatever decision we take now will impact either negatively or positively on generations to come. The Petroleum Industry Bill was conceived to ensure Nigeria’s future generations are positively impacted by its oil wealth. It was never about short-term gains. I want to assure you that dialogue on the Petroleum Industry Bill is still ongoing. At the end, we will have a bill that the nation will be proud of.

On refineries, the Public Private Partnership approach we adopted to rehabilitate our existing refineries has taken longer than expected.

However, I am aware that the NNPC has concluded the process for selecting the private sector partners that will rehabilitate the refineries. I am informed that they are working out finances and hopefully, work will commence soon.

However, we will continue to support innovative ideas that will bring new refinery investments into the country. In this respect, I look forward to receiving suggestions from your members on how we can move forward.

As one of the architects of the Nigeria Contents Monitoring and Development Act, I am sure NUPENG members appreciate that a key principle of this act is the indigenisation of certain processes and production functions. Indigenisation means local value addition leveraging local resources where possible.

The Act specified minimum local content requirements, including manpower, for all projects and contracts in the oil and gas industry. The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board is fully empowered to ensure compliance. I will direct the Hon. Minister of State Petroleum Resources to review the issues you have raised and take appropriate action to ensure compliance with the Act by operators in the industry.

I urge that you submit any specific petition to the Minister of State with the assurance that such will be looked into diligently.

As you are all aware, we are working hard to make our business environment easier and friendlier for investors, both local and international. It is, therefore, our collective duty to provide constructive guidance to enhance operations of investors in the oil and gas sector. Therefore in drafting any petition, I would ask that your submissions are supported with facts.

On security in the Niger Delta, I am sure you will all agree that pipeline vandalism has declined.

We have, and will continue to promote peaceful engagement with the communities while at the same time maintain our readiness to respond to any hostile acts of sabotage.

Let me conclude by thanking you for the honour bestowed on me as your GRAND COMRADE. I want to assure you that we will not relent on our drive to create an inclusive, diversified and peaceful Nigeria.

President Buhari Officially Recieves NUPENG President, Comrade Williams Akporeha And His CWC Members

President Muhammadu Buhari received in audience National President of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Comrade Williams Eniredonana Akporeha and his Central Working Committee members at the State House, Abuja on Thursday, December 13, 2018.

Comrade Akporeha in company of the Union’s Acting General Secretary, Comrade Afolabi Olawale and other members of the delegation used the occasion of the courtesy visit to present and decorate President Buhari with an award as GRAND COMRADE of the Productive Workers of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry.

President Buhari on his part lauded the leadership of NUPENG for ensuring stable and smooth supply of petroleum products nationwide and specifically expressed appreciation to the union for its unflinching support to his administration over the last three years, noting that he had been regularly receiving feedback on the union’s positive and constructive engagements with government.

President Buhari, who expressed the belief that the petroleum industry should be reformed in the best interest of Nigeria and Nigerians, however, cautioned that such reforms should not be rushed into.

“No doubt, your support has contributed to the continued uninterrupted supply of products to consumers across the country in the last three years.

“May I, therefore, use this opportunity to request that you continue on this patriotic path while assuring you of government’s support to the course of the Nigerian workers at all times.

“I fully agree with you that reforming the Petroleum Industry will unlock numerous untapped potentials for the nation. However, these reforms must be well thought out and must have the best interest of Nigeria and Nigerians as its core objective.

“Such reforms cannot and must not be rushed, if we must get it right. We are still suffering from the effects of many legacy policies that were rushed and passed without fully appreciating the consequences the provisions embedded in them.

“Whatever decision we take now will impact either negatively or positively on generations to come,’’ he said.

On the Petroleum Industry Bill, the President observed that the bill was conceived to ensure that Nigeria’s future generations were positively impacted by the country’s oil wealth, saying that it was never about short-term gains.
President Buhari expressed the hope that at the end of the ongoing dialogue on the petroleum industry bill the country would have a bill that it would be proud of.

The President expressed reservation over the Public Private Partnership approach adopted to rehabilitate the nation’s existing refineries, observed that the the approach had taken longer than expected.

He said: “However, I am aware that the NNPC has concluded the process for selecting the private sector partners that will rehabilitate the refineries.

“I am informed that they are working out finances and hopefully, work will commence soon.’’

President Buhari pledged that his administration would continue to support innovative ideas that would attract investments for the setting up of new refineries in the country.

He, therefore, urged the Union to make suggestions on how best to move the nation’s petroleum industry forward.

“As one of the architects of the Nigeria Contents Monitoring and Development Act, l am sure NUPENG members appreciate that a key principle of this act is the indigenisation of certain processes and production functions.

“Indigenisation means local value addition leveraging local resources where possible.

“The Act specified minimum local content requirements, including manpower, for all projects and contracts in the oil and gas industry.

“The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board is fully empowered to ensure compliance.

“l will direct the Minister of State Petroleum Resources to review the issues you have raised and take appropriate action to ensure compliance with the Act by operators in the industry.

“I urge that you submit any specific petition to the Minister of State with the assurance that such will be looked into diligently,’’ he said.

The President revealed that his administration was working hard to make business environment easier and friendlier for both local and international investors.

He maintained that it was a collective duty by the government and other stakeholders to provide constructive guidance to enhance operations of investors in the oil and gas sector.

“Therefore in drafting any petition, I would ask that your submissions are supported with facts,’’ he added.

On security in the Niger Delta, the President noted that pipeline vandalism had declined, and pledged that government would continue to promote peaceful engagement with the communities while at the same time maintain its readiness to respond to any hostile acts of sabotage.

The President expressed appreciation to the Union for conferring on him the title of `GRAND COMRADE of NUPENG’ and assured that his administration will not relent on its drive to create an inclusive, diversified and peaceful Nigeria.

Earlier in his remarks, Apkoreha had commended the Buhari administration for pulling out the country out of economic recession.

He said: “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 gap between the rich and the poor in the country through various initiatives 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.”

According to him, NUPENG stands with the President in the areas of infrastructural development and in almost all sectors of the national life.

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Full Text of Welcome Address by NUPENG National President, Comrade Williams Akporeha During The Union’s 40th Anniversary

WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF NUPENG, COMRADE (PRINCE) WILLIAMS AKPOREHA AT THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF THE UNION HELD AT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE, ABUJA ON THURSDAY 6TH DECEMBER, 2018.

                                                   

PROTOCOL

I am specially honoured and highly privileged to, on behalf of the National Executive Council and irrepressible members of our great union, welcome these distinguished arrays of very important personalities from every walks of life to the 40th Anniversary celebration of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, holding today, the 6th day of December 2018.

First of all, with profound love and deep appreciation, we welcome the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, to our historic 40th Anniversary celebration.

Without any doubt,President Muhammadu Buhari is a globally celebrated man of integrity and outstanding devotion to the services of this country. We can confidently affirm that President Muhammadu Buhari is silently, consistently and rigorously laying very solid and positive foundation for a new Nigeria, that the current generation and those yet unborn will live to appreciate and cherish.

The entire productive workers of Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry, appreciate and celebrate your distinguished presence at this occasion sir.

In the same manner, with all sense of humility, respect, love and appreciation, we also welcome General Yakubu Gowon, (GCFR) to this historic occasion. Having you physically present here today, your excellency, is a dream come true and very remarkable in so many areas. One major area is the nostalgic memory of how hard your Excellency worked and is still working to keep us “Going OnWith One Nigeria” (G.O.W.O.N.).

The entire rank and file members of the productive workers of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry are eternally indebted to you sir. We profoundly thank and appreciate you for sparing time and efforts to be the chairman of our 40th anniversary celebration.

May I use this opportunity to officially announced to the distinguished gathering, that the entire productive workers of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry is very pleased to confer on your Excellency the award of PEACE AMBASSADOR OF NIGERIA in recognition of your untiring efforts to ensure that peace reign in our country.

Your excellencies and my fellow comrades, again and again I welcome you all.

There is no doubt in the fact that the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry has recorded significant growth and development from the first time Crude Oil was discovered in commercial quantity. This giant strides in the industry have been made possible by numerous individuals and corporate organisations, who, through ingenious creativities added improved value to several Oil and Gas Tools, Products and Projects in Nigeria.

In retrospect, NUPENG was among the 42 Industrial unions that came into existence in 1978 during the restructuring. It was formally registered as a Trade Union on 15th August, 1978 with a vision to enlarge its frontiers in the promotion and protection of members’ trade union rights in the oil and gas industry and the nation in general. That is why the theme for the Anniversary has been aptly tagged “Nigeria Oil and Gas Workers, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”.

We all recall with great sense of fulfilment and accomplishment, that before the birth of this union on that fateful day in 1978 at the celebrated Cultural Centre, in the ancient city of Benin, the Edo State capital, the voices of workers in the Oil and Gas Industry were generally muted and their rights virtually not existing.

Cases of extortion, detention, intimidation and harassment in the hands of security agencies by Oil and Gas workers, most especially the Petroleum Tanker Drivers were very rampant then. Any form of workers grouping or association were generally frown at and anyone found toying with the idea were usually dealt with severely.

Workers were never given opportunity to discuss or have inputs in their working conditions or job processes. Salaries, allowances, job duration and security were strictly the prerogatives of the employers.

It has been four decades of unrelenting struggles in defense of the rights of our members and improvement of the working conditions of all oil and gas workers in Nigeria. Without sounding immodest, NUPENG has in the last four decades consistently and creditably contributed not only to the growth and development of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry, the enthronement of industrial peace and harmony in the Oil and Gas Industry but it has also positively impacted on the sociopolitical and economic development of Nigeria as a nation.

Legendary amongst the battles was the struggle for the restoration of the collective mandate of Nigerians freely and fairly given on June 12 1993. It was a battle we embarked in defense of democracy. The battle brought out the latent revolutionary capacity and posture of NUPENG with its sister organization, PENGASSAN.

We suffered dearly for the courage and patriotic determination we exhibited in the June 12 struggle. So many of our comrades were beaten, brutalized, maimed,killed and detained without trials.

NUPENG was proscribed and leaders of the union, (President of NUPENG then), Comrade (Late) Wariebi Kojo Agamene and the then General Secretary of the union, Comrade Frank OvieKokori were arrested and made to suffer series of dehumanizing treatments in detention for four years.

The nine-week nation-wide strike against the military junta to a very large extent was very successful and highly patriotic, the memories of which we still savour till date and the outcome of which contributed significantly to the current democratic dispensation of more than two decades of uninterrupted civil rule in Nigeria.

Going down memory lane, there are still so many other struggles, majority of which were for the unionization and improvement in the working conditions of Workers in the Oil and Gas Industry against the stiff resistance of both foreign and indigenous companies. We are glad that many of these struggles resulted in making NUPENG the doyen of industrial unions globally.

My fellow Comrades and elders, I warmly congratulate you once again, indeed, in the course of these four decades, despite all challenges and obstacles on our ways, our solidarity remains ever constant like the northern star, our resolve unshaken, our unity unruffled, integrity intact and we remain indomitable and irrepressible as any industrial union will ever dream to be. In the light of these, we deserve to celebrate and felicitate together, and this we are here to do today.

However, one major hydra headed monster we have been confronting for over two decades now is the titanic struggle against casualization and indecent employment in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry. Unknown to many of us seated here today, NUPENG is fighting seriously against forces that are hell bent in sending it into extinction. Our membership has been seriously depleted due to the challenges of this anti-union employment policies of both indigenous and foreign companies.

Distinguished Guests and fellow Comrades, when we came on board on the 6th day of April this year, we came in with full knowledge of the enormous challenges confronting our union, most especially with regards to the employers, government and general public perception of our enormous powers, influence and ever constant solidarity.

We know that most often. Many employers are scared of relating with us and this wrong perception is sometimes responsible for the hostile attitude to our efforts in organizing their employees. In the light of this realization, our administration willembark on massive public image polishing and mending relationship with allpassived aggrieved stakeholders. Our new mission is to ensure prosperity and good returns for everyone in the industry. We pledge to be more cooperative and collaborative in our dealings but without compromising on the best interest of our members and global labour best practices.

We have further resolved to be more open and engaging in social dialogue with all stakeholders. We urge everyone, government, employers and the general public to know that we are fully committed to rendering efficient, effective and public/stakeholders friendly services to our dear country and its citizens.

To make the objective realizable, we have recruited new, young, well educated, vibrant staff to meet the challenges of modern-day industrial relations practice and adequately prepare ground for tomorrow.

We are also not in doubt about the declining revenues into the union coffers and the huge financial requirement needed to render qualitative and quantitative services to our members. It’s the full realization of the financial status of the union that have made us to decide to diversify the sources of our little income by engaging in one form of business or the other.

It is our firm belief that this will also help in the areas of job creation and empowerment of our teaming youths. In this regard, It’s our desired to build an ultra-modern tanker park in four zonal councils of our areas of operations in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna. We have already secured large expanse of land in Port Harcourt for these projects and other zones are in process.

This initiative when carried out and completed will help to create jobs for the youths, help in engendering the development of petty businesses for our women, save the state from the environmental hazards of indiscriminate parking of Petroleum Tankers in the Country and also generate revenue into the coffers of every layers of government as each of the ultra-modern Parks when completed will accommodate parking space for not less than a thousand petroleum trucks with accompanied facilities like hotel, fire service station, restaurants, service bay/ station and other supporting facilities.

As we are all aware, NUPENG has comparative advantage to draw leverage in terms of engaging in petroleum marketing business, in the light of this, it is in our plan of action to build in some strategic places in some of our major cities, mega filling stations with all modern facilities. This we believe will also help to reduce the pressure of job creation on the government.

On taking over the administration of the union, we also observed that our national Secretariat needs urgent upgrading to meet current challenges and realities as the present structure is failing and dilapidating. Therefore,it is our plan to bequeath a befitting national Secretariat to our members. We intend to commence the process of erecting a new Secretariat in couple of months to come.

With all these lofty and noble plans, we have set for tomorrow, we know we cannot achieve it all by our efforts alone, we need all our friends and other players in and outside the Oil and Gas Industry. To these ends we want to solicit for your financial support in the N25 billion fund-raising we have set for today to achieve these dreams. The realization of these dreams will be to service to our nation and humanity in general, kindly support us generously.

Today as we celebrate, we also wish to commend and appreciate these creative individuals and Companies for their inestimable contributions to the growth and development of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry. This industry has indeed grown, although not to our desired expectation and this inform our continuous plea for the much-desired reform in the industry for the purposes of engendering ease of doing business, transparency, accountability and appreciable returns/dividends on investment in the industry.

In the same vein my highly respected guest and comrades, it is very obvious that we would not have been here celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Union if not for the path-finding and pacesetting efforts and sacrifices of our founding fathers. These men of vision and mission, against all odds and in the face of intimidating forces of Capital took the giant steps of building a great Industrial Union that’s known all over now as NUPENG.

It is on this sweet memory note, that I salute the courage, resilience and commitment of the founding fathers, (both living and dead) of this great Union. Today as always, we cherish and celebrate these worthy Comrades and leaders of men, who fought through thick and thin in creating a very credible and strong voice for the Oil and Gas workers in this country.

Some of these distinguished comrades are in our hall of heroes today. Through their efforts, sacrifices and self-denials, sometimes at the risk of their lives, the story line for the Nigeria Oil and Gas workers changed dramatically for good. These great leaders include Comrades John EnasDubre, the founding President of our great union, Comrade S.A Dada, Comrade (Late) U.M Okoro of blessed memory, (Who further in his career, became PENGASSAN, President) (Late) Comrade Wariebi Kojo Agamene, the lion of Amasoma, Comrade Brisibe Awe, Comrade (Honourable) Peter Akpatason and Comrade IgweAchese.

Our hall of heroes, also has very special place and recognition, for the Custodians of the Union constitution, culture, history and traditions. These are technocrats who toiled day and night for the realization and sustenance of NUPENG dreams, these include, the founding General Secretary of the Union. Comrade (Late) S.A Otu, the great Comrade Frank OvieKokori, Comrade (Honourable) Joseph Akinlaja, (The man who uses proverbs to unties knotty issues in similar manner we use palm oil to eat roasted yam) Comrade (Late Elijah Okougbo), Comrade Isaac Aberare and Comrade Joseph Ogbebor.

These men laid the foundation for the struggle that we have continued to carry on with till today. I salute you great comrades and veteran of so many struggles and the Union celebrate you as well as you join us to celebrate the rebranded NUPENG.

Finally, I am really overwhelmed and grateful to God that it is under my leadership that the forty years’ anniversary of our great union is being celebrated today and I sincerely want to thank our teaming members for making this possible. According to Albert Einstein,“life is like a bicycle and to keep your balance you must keep moving”.

I pledge once again on behalf of the National Executive Council of NUPENG that we will not let you down as we assure you of our die-hard commitment to keep flying the flag of our Union to a greater height.

Once again, I thank you all for your attention and God bless.

Long live NUPENG!

Long live Nigeria Workers!!

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

We shall overcome for our solidarity remains constant.

 

Full Text of Gen. Yakubu Gowon Opening Remarks During NUPENG 40th Anniversary

OPENING REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY,

GENERAL DR. YAKUBU GOWON, GCFR,

AT THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF THE NIGERIA UNION OF PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS WORKERS (NUPENG) AT THE

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE,

ABUJA ON 6TH DECEMBER, 2018.

 

PROTOCOLS

 

  1. Life begins at 40, people say. If this holds true, it then means that the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) is just about to begin life. Over these many years, NUPENG has come to mean so many things to different people. It is seen as a powerful petroleum labour movement that can hold the nation, the industry, transportation to a stand-still or ransom by going on strike, but more generally, the Union is seen as a major fighter for the growth and sustenance of democracy as we know it today in Nigeria. It is in appreciation of this fact that I accepted to be present at this celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the founding of the Union. It is, therefore, my pleasure to welcome everyone to this occasion.

 

  1. Historically, NUPENG is on of the 46 industrial unions initially approved by law to organize, protect and defend the interests of workers in diverse industries in 1978. Since then, NUPENG has lived up to expectation as a defender of the interest of its primary constituency in the oil and gas sector. By extension, it has made significant and highly commendable political and socio-economic impact on every Nigerian particularly at the dawn of the 21st

 

  1. The theme of this 40th anniversary – “Oil and Gas Workers; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” – Aptly signpost the need for proper stock taking to position the Union for more achievements in the future. As you are aware, the sustenance of our nation’s economy and its peace and stability depend largely on your untiring services because NUPENG and its members are strategically placed in very important sector of the Nigeria economy.

 

  1. From birth, your union has exhibited unity of purpose, which has been critical to its ability to meet internal and external challenges despite drawing its membership from diverse religious, ethnic and gender groupings across the country. The lesson to be drawn from this is that even when tribes and tongues differ, we, as Nigerians, can still achieve greatness as one united people.

 

  1. Despite NUPENG’s achievements over the years, the image of the union has been sullied by the way citizens perceive the union in recent times. Owing to the spate of industrial action by the union, citizens have come to see NUPENG as a major source of economic dislocation. These days, citizens appear to see the union’s unrelenting struggles to champion the cause of its members and its fight for accountability and transparency more self-serving than in the national interest. NUPENG must expeditiously address this worrisome image issue.

 

  1. All said, NUPENG’s 40 years has been more gains than pains. I, therefore, enjoin the leadership of the union to keep up the rich tradition of the past and continually work in the best interest of the people and the nation. On this note, I wish to formally declare open the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).

 

  1. I thank you all for listening and wish you successful celebrations.

 

GEN. DR. YAKUBU GOWON, GCFR

Abuja

6 December, 2018.