By Victor Ahiuma-Young
Ahead of organised Labour planned nationwide strike from Monday over the recent hike in electricity tariff and petrol pump prices, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has said import-driven deregulation of the petroleum sector is unsustainable.
NUPENG also asked the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on the four public refineries to function optimally.
President of NUPENG, Prince Williams Akporeja, gave the advice at a stakeholders’ meeting with the Group Managing Director, GMD, of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, captains of industries and representatives of associations in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry.
The other downstream stakeholders at the meeting were Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN; Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, DAPPMA; Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN; Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO; Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN; Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR; Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, and other top management team of NNPC.
Vanguard gathered that the meeting was held on Thursday, September 24.
A source at the meeting informed Vanguard that Prince Akporeha contended that import-driven deregulation was not only unsustainable, it was equally anti-job creation and sustainability.
According to him: “NUPENG President maintained that unless a state of emergency is declared on the nation’s refineries and greater efforts made to build new ones in the shortest possible time, any full deregulation efforts in the industry now will continue to be injurious to the masses as a wholly import-driven deregulation will not sustain jobs and stability of the industry.
“He enjoined the Federal Government and NNPC to fast track the processes of rehabilitation of the public refineries and encourage quick construction of new ones, including modular refineries, to end this shame of the nation among the comity of oil-producing countries.
“Akporeha went on to stress that marketing and distribution chains of the downstream petroleum sector also needs serious interventions from government.
“He added that the government should fix and maintain critical roads across the country to avoid incessant petroleum tankers mishaps.”