'We'll Resist Any Fuel Increment' NUPENG Dares FG
The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), on Wednesday, warned the federal government that it will resist any attempt by the to increase petroleum pump price from the current N145 price tag.
According to the NUPENG President, Comrade Igwe Achese, the Union will do all it can to resist any increment of pump price by government.
He further added that "N145 is the price and so, I will say that there is no increase for now. We have said clearly that any increase will be strongly resisted by us. So, it is a rumour for now and that is why we are working hard to partner with IPMAN and all necessary stakeholders in the depot environment and depot community to ensure that scarcity of petroleum product is abated and the issue of increase in pump price is abated."
"We have stated clearly that while pipeline vandalism has been a key problem for our nation's production capacity in terms of oil sector, one of the key issues affecting us here is the debt owed by NNPC to the IOC in terms of operational cost.
"For me, we have said that we need to put in place advance pipeline technology and create an outfit that will separately be in charge of pipeline security and that is what we have been fighting for.
"At our meeting with the President, we also mentioned that to him that an agency should be created to look at pipeline security separately and away from the other security outfit. Presently, you know that we have security challenges across the country," Achese stated.
Achese explained that "it is unfortunate that we are not adverse to whatever security improvement that can be made in securing our pipelines. But the model that was applied when this administration came into power by bringing in security companies to take over the system to secure the pipelines was a wrong model.
"These individuals who came in with their proposals and told the President that they can perform the magic when they don't have the capability and capacity to secure the system took over the system. We realized that they went back to these same boys,the same ex militants to ask them to come and take over the system.
"You will agree with me that when you take away things like tha from those who have been working on it for years and give it yo those who lack the capacity. Who in turn gives it back to the same people, there will be challenges.
"That is what we are facing today. It is a global trend now to talk about community policing and when you want to do community policing Umoh don't bring people from outside to do it. You must get people from the community to do the community policing for you.
"That is why we are advocating that, if it means constituting that, that community policing that was done which made us move a little bit from where we found ourselves when insurgency started to 2.2 million barrel per day, we should be able to do that. That is what we are looking and that is what we are canvassing for.
"If you put that as a stop gap measure. You will now come and look at the security networking or whatever system you want to use to secure the area. It is not possible for us to keep securing those systems from where we are not."
Achese said: "We gave 21 days ultimatum and two weeks has elapsed. We were invited for a meeting with the directorate of SSS and we were there to discuss some of these issues and we hoped that the measures and the discussions held there will be implemented to call for a stakeholders meeting to address some of these issues of redundancy in the oil and gas sector. If that is done, we hope that nothing will take place. If not, we will be forced to withdraw our services."
On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), he stated "this bill has been in the National Assembly for the last nine years. It is high time the bill was passed into late to allow transparency, accountability and attraction of foreign investment into the oil and gas industry.
"We call on the federal government and the National Assembly to convene a major stakeholders meeting to iron out the grey areas in order to allow for speedy passage.
"We frown at the frequent vandalisation of pipeline in the country by the so called militants which has depleted our supply of crude oil for export. We therefore call on the federal government to increase security surveillance to stem the tide and establish a pipeline protection agency to be fully committed to reducing the scourge.
"In the interim, we suggest that the former private security outfits hired by the last administration be reinstated so that there will be no further disruption of oil facilities which enabled us meet the 2.8million barrels per day then.
We are opposed to the proposed sale of the nation's assets, especially the refineries.
"We believe that the proposed sale is unnecessary and not in our national interest as they will be sold to their cronies as scraps. The union will resist any attempt to sell theses national assets and advice hag government should look another areas to revamp the economy."