President of the National Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers (NUPENG), Comrade (Dr.) Achese Igwe, has declared that any attempt by the federal government to scrap the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), would be vehemently resisted by the union.
The NUPENG president made this declaration at Ogoloma Community in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State, on Sunday, in a chat with journalists at the end of the 14th memorial thanksgiving service of his late mother, Mrs. Tamunoibuoma Nsonma Levi Bereiweriso.
Comrade Achese said there were disturbing rumours and media reports, which suggested that the federal government would soon scrap the NNPC, praying that the idea must be allowed to end in the rumour mills.
He added that any such step by the federal government would face stiff opposition by NUPENG. “I have heard the news of plots to scrap the NNPC. It is a speculation that has been on for some time now. But for us as a union, we are definitely going to resist it. The NNPC is not going to be scrapped.”
On speculated increase in the price of fuel, Dr. Igwe Achese stated that NUPENG was not aware of any plot by the NNPC to increase fuel price, describing the planned price increase as a rumour. He noted that during the last price increase in May, various submissions tabled as palliative measures, were still in the pipeline.
Comrade Achese said in view of the current economic recession and its attendant economic hardship on the Nigerian masses, the timing for any such increase then would be wrong and insensitive. He pointed out that none of the promises made by the Federal Government during the last fuel price increase in May has been fulfilled.
“They said they needed money for Turn Around Maintenance, TAM. They said they want to repair the refineries. But as we speak, the refineries are not working. It’s sad! I am a member of the palliative committee, but up until now, nothing has happened. So, my answer to any increase is NO! We won’t allow that to happen.”
Condemning the sack of oil workers in the oil and gas industry, Comrade Achese stressed that the Federal Government should do more in regulating the activities of multinational oil companies in the country.
“We feel that the Federal Government should regulate the multinational companies like Shell. We feel the sack should stop. The government should put in place measures to create stability,” he said, and condemned the factionalization of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) at a time of recession when Nigerians needed a united labour union.
“Today, Nigerians are suffering. One would ask: What is the task of the NLC? The factionalization of the NLC is not a good thing,” he concluded.
Earlier in his sermon during the memorial service, Rt. Rev. Tubokomie Agbere, enjoined Christians to use their sojourn on earth to focus on achieving the City of God, which he described as perfect, instead of endlessly pursuing worldly kingdom. He said: ‘If you lose that Heavenly City, your sojourn on earth would have been in vain.
The memorial service was well attended by dignitaries from the oil and gas sector, including NUPENG, PENGASSAN, and IPMAN, who altogether, contributed over N15m during the service for the completion of the church building still under construction.