COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (NEC) MEETING OF THE NIGERIA UNION OF PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS WORKERS (NUPENG) ON 12th APRIL, 2023 AT KINGS CELIA HOTELS, LAGOSPROSPER AKRAI
12th April, 2023
The National Executive Council meeting of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers was convened and properly held in accordance with the Constitution of the Union on Wednesday, 12th April, 2023 at Kings Celia Hotel, Jibowu Street, Jibowu, Yaba, Lagos, consequent upon the general state of the nation most especially after the conduct of the eagerly awaited 2023 general elections, the increasing debates publications and statements from Nigerians on the intention of the Federal Government to end the PMS subsidy regime and in consideration of other several important issues requiring urgent attention of the leadership of the Union.
The meeting which was presided over by the President of the Union, Comrade Williams Akporeha had in attendance were the General Secretary of the Union, Comrade Afolabi Olawale and all other members of the Council-in-session, had discussion of several topical issues confronting and affecting the Union, the Oil and Gas Industry and the nation in general.
After detailed and exhaustive deliberations on these issues, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted by the NEC-in-session:
A.STATE OF THE NATION
- 2023 GENERAL ELECTIONS: The National Executive Council (NEC) in session observed with deep worries and concerns, 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 this great Country. The Council-in-session unanimously agreed that though the election may not be perfect or meet the pre-conceived outcome of some individuals but that in every elections like all sporting games, a winner must emerge as well as losers and that there are ample provisions in the electoral laws of the Country for any aggrieved party to seek redress and that rather than heating up the polity and polarizing the country, all aggrieved individuals and parties should do what is expected of any decent and law abiding democrat, which is to concede defeat, congratulate the winner or go to tribunal to seek redress.
- The NEC-in-session affirmed that the 2023 general election marked another watershed in the democratic journey of our nation, wherein the Youths adequately mobilized and participated in the electoral processes, wherein the political parties of twenty (20) sitting Governors lost to opposition parties and quite unlike before wherein seven (7) sitting Governors lost their bids to become Senators of the Federal Republic 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 opined that rather than fanning embers of division and disillusionment amongst Nigerians, patriotic Nigerians should rise in unison to galvanize 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 condemned 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, people to take up arms against the inauguration of a new government/installation of an interim government.
- The NEC-in-Council found those statements most irresponsible, reprehensible and very unfortunate.
- The NEC-in-session reiterated further that NUPENG as a Trade Union organization is widely known to have fought and sacrificed the lives of our members and leaders for the restoration of democracy in the country and shall not sit on the fence and watch some undesirable elements drag this nation back to that path of the dark days, we will definitely resist all agents of destabilization and put all our resources and might on the table for the growth and development of democracy in our
B. FUEL SUBSIDY
- NEC-in-Council also examined the recurrent discussions for the removal of subsidy from the Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) and express deep concerns over the failure of the Federal Government to do the needful as severally advised by organized labor 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 in the failure of the 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 reaffirmed that in as much as our Union is not averse to the removal of PMS subsidy, the Federal Government must ensure that our local refineries are put into full operation before such major policy decision is taken in the interest of the generality of Nigerians.
- It is our firm believe that deregulation that is based on local production will not only increase the revenue base of the country, but it will also generate employment and make life more meaningful to ordinary Nigerians.
C. THE STATE OF EMPLOYMENT AND WORKING CONDITIONS IN THE NIGERIA OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY
- The NEC-in-session carefully examined the state/nature of employment and working conditions of Nigerians, most especially the blue-collar workers in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry and noted with grave concerns the increasing degeneration, indecency and precariousness of their employment and working conditions.
- The Council-in-session decried the behavior and employment tactics of some unscrupulous indigenous employers and multi-nationals who have unfortunately exploited and turned the Nigerian Local Content law into ambits of slavery and precarious employment rather than a source of fulfilling employment and empowerment for teeming qualified young Nigerians in their fatherland.
- The NEC-in-session, therefore, urgently call on the incoming administration to declare a state of emergency in the Oil and Gas sector so as to properly situate the employment in the industry in such a way and manner that will engender technical expertise and skills enhancement for young Nigerians and further help to reduce the wave of brain drain, insecurity and penchant for fraudulent activities among the youth in the country.
- It is the firm belief of the NEC-in-session that Nigeria has enough human capacity to develop and enhance its technological capabilities.
D. STATE OF OUR ROADS
- The NEC-in-session appreciates the efforts of the Federal Government for the novel approach of using tax credits for the funding of the construction, repairs and maintenance of the federal highways and without doubt, this approach has helped in no small ways to improve our highways.
- The Union however acknowledged the fact that the long years of neglect of these highways has put the nation’s highways in very unfortunate situation making it seems as if nothing is being done and the parlors state of these roads is further being compounded by the setting-in of the raining season and its attendant impacts on these roads. The Council-in-session therefore urgently call on the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Works to, as a matter of urgency attend to all those roads that we have identified to be in terrible shape to avoid a repeat of what happened last year when some sections of the country were totally cut-off from the rest.
E. UNENDING ARSON ATTACKS ON PETROLEUM TRUCKS BY SECURITY AGENTS
- The NEC-in-session strongly condemned series of unwarranted attacks, intimidation and burning of Petroleum Trucks on genuine and legal haulage of Petroleum products by some barbaric and unschooled security agents most especially among the Nigerian Army Anti-bunkering Task Force operating in the South-South region of the Country. These unwholesome attacks and the burning of petroleum trucks have remained unabated even in the face of several complaints from the Union to all appropriate and necessary quarters.
- It is therefore the resolution of the Council-in-session that any further burning of Petroleum truck on genuine assignment will not be taken lightly by the Union because we cannot continue to watch our members losing their sources of livelihoods in the hands of those armed men, rather we will direct our members to sit at home to save their lives and sources of livelihoods.
COMRADE WILLIAMS AKPOREHA
COMRADE AFOLABI OLAWALE