UNEMPLOYMENT SITUATION IN NIGERIA WORRIES NUPENG
- The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) is worried about the worsening state of unemployment in the country. The Union is concerned about the alarming rate of youth unemployment which is the major cause of the growing insecurity and high crime wave in the country. NUPENG states that the army of unemployed in the country is a time-bomb, waiting to explode any moment from now. It stressed that federal government statistics that only five million Nigerians are unemployed is a fallacy, putting the actual figure at over twenty million considering the turn-out of those joining the unemployment market through redundancies, retrenchments and downsizing facing the economy on a daily basis. The current waves of violence in the North, kidnappings in the South are a result of unemployment in the land. The Union is sad that despite this nagging challenge, Nigeria has been declared as Africa’s largest economy with a rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 150 billion dollars, which is utter balderdash, in an economy that cannot provide the necessary amenities for its citizenry. The Union adds that the federal government must partner with the private sector to open up the economy and this can be achieved through re-industrialisation. The recent power sector reform has come to naught, as the nation is suffering from severe darkness and still generator-driven, which is not helping the economy to grow. The Union calls on the federal government to make the power sector work so that the reliance on generators to drive the economy will be drastically reduced, so that small scale or cottage industries can thrive.
- The Union wants moribund industries to come on stream, which will go a long way to employ our unemployed workers. The Union also wants more refineries to be established and the existing ones should undergo turn-around- maintenance for effective performance. The Union also wants the rural areas to be fully developed in order to reduce the rural-urban drift. We also advise that government should provide free land and tax holidays to potential investors coming into country.
NUPENG TASKS SECURITY AGENCIES ON MISSING SCHOOL GIRLS
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) is worried and disturbed about the conflicting figures of the missing school girls of Government Secondary School, Chibok, in Borno State.
It calls on the security agencies to work in tandem with the Borno State Government, the school authorities to authenticate the actual number of the school girls missing and spread their dragnets to locate them unharmed.
The Union calls the present situation as unacceptable and embarrassing of the inability of the security agencies to locate the whereabouts of the missing school children after over a week of their abduction.
The Union states that the report states that 234 school girls are missing and not 129, which calls for concern and goes to show the inefficiency and failure of the security forces to arrest the Boko Haram scourge.
The Union also condemns the recent attack on another Government Girls Secondary School in Yana, in Bauchi State and commends the Governor for the quick evacuation.
The Union calls for a change of strategy in combating terrorism by applying modern day technology to deal with the situation, as it is done in Israel. We should call for foreign assistance in dealing with the spate of terrorism in the country.
The Union states that the sponsors of the terrorists must be identified and made to face the wrath of the law, no matter their position in the society.
The Union also wants effective policing of our vast porous borders which serves as a conduit for the hit and run activities. We also call on the Federal Government to dialogue with our neighbours to see how they can help prevent the marauders from escaping into their countries.
The Union appeals to the conscience of the terrorists to release the innocent school girls unhurt so that they can re-unite with their families.
NUPENG KICKS AGAINST PRIVATISATION OF REFINERIES
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG), takes serious exception to the comments made by the Honourable Minister of Petroleum resources, Mrs. Deziani Alison-Madueke that the nation’s refineries must be privatised.
The union states that the Minister’s comments are uncalled for, unnecessary and a mere diversion to the failure of the Ministry to address the perennial problem of scarcity of petroleum products currently being experienced in the country.
NUPENG adds that it will resist any attempt by the federal government to go back on agreement signed with the unions on January 7, 2014 in Abuja that the nation’s refineries will not be privatised. In a memorandum of understanding (MOU) reached at that meeting, the two trade unions in the oil and gas sector, NUPENG and PENGASSAN agreed with the Federal Government to engage in social dialogue to develop viable and workable business models for the nation’s refineries.
The union makes bold to say that billions of naira had been budgeted and purportedly spent on the Turn-Around-Maintenance (TAM) of the refineries with nothing to show for it.
We state that the refineries must be rehabilitated to work optimally which will account for at least seventy percent of domestic production, instead of selling the nation’s strategic assets. The union states that the Minister should concentrate more on how the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) should be passed so that the oil and gas market will be opened up to enable investors come and establish more refineries and those already given licenses to come on stream.
It stresses that the quick passage of the PIB will ensure transparency and accountability and boost investors confidence, rather than allowing the current massive importation of petroleum products, which a few cabal are benefitting from at the expense of the nation.
The union believes that the transparency agenda of Mr. President on job creation should be enhanced by allowing interested investors set up private refineries, like the Alhaji Aliko Dangote example in free trade zone in Ondo/Ogun States, which will generate about 85,000 jobs.
We warn that the union will not guarantee industrial peace and harmony if the threat by the Minister to privatise the refineries is carried out by the government, when it should spear head the establishment of mini and mega refineries to complement what we already have and make sure the old ones are rehabilitated.
The union calls on the National Assembly to quickly pass the Petroleum Industry Bill and call the bluff of the multinationals who are trying to stall its passage for their selfish ends, so that the industry can be sanitised.