The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) is advocating empowerment of police and other security operatives with new technology and apparatus to intelligently combat growing insecurity in the country.
National president of the union, Williams Akporeha, speaking at the fifth quadrennial delegates’s conference of the union in Asaba, Delta State, with the theme “Just Energy Transition: For Oil and Gas Workers Social Welfare and Security,” said the union was much disturbed about the insecurity and senseless killings, kidnappings and farmer/herders’ clashes in the country.
“It is not wrong to say that nowhere and indeed no one is safe in Nigeria today. The media is awash with news of one form of trouble or the other,” he said.
He stated that though security was the responsibility of all, the federal and state governments must rise up to their most important constitutional duty to protect and safeguard the lives and properties of all Nigerians.
He said, “The increasing level of insecurity is discouraging both national and international investors from doing any meaningful investment in the country. This unfortunate situation is creating more unemployment, business closures and poverty rates in the country.
“In this regard, we believe that state and community policing should be the way forward in tackling this menace,” he said.
On the state of petroleum refineries, Akporeha expressed dismay over what he described as the slow process to revamp the nation’s four refineries.
The NUPENG boss said Nigerians were losing patient, noting that the present arrangement of importing petroleum products have grave negative economic consequences.
He therefore called on the Federal Government to expedite action in turning around the refineries for the common good of all.
Akporeha said the deplorable condition of the refineries was “disheartening and disturbing not only to the union but to the entire nation.
“We are really worried and concerned that a country with the resources and the population like Nigeria still dependent on importation, thereby exporting jobs and resources to other countries.
“The Federal Government should be up and doing to ensure that the refineries are working to reduce importation.”
Declaring the conference open, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State said NUPENG was a critical trade union in the oil and gas industry.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Patrick Ukah, Okowa
advised labour unions and management in oil and gas industry to always find a common ground in settling industrial issues to ensure less friction in the sector.
The union however re-elected its incumbent, Williams Akporeha as President for another four year term.
Other officers elected at the conference include, Deputy Presidents. Solomon Kilanko and Prince Moses; National Treasurer, Alex Agwanwor, National
Trustee, Solomon Oladiti, National Public Relations Officer, Cogent Ojobor, National Financial Secretary, Danladi Yahaya and National Industrial Relations Officer, Udofia Benjamin.
Also in the list are National Auditors, Ogbodo Thompson and Ndaliman
Adamu, Vice Presidents, Warri zone, Justin Adigwe, Port Harcourt zone, Lucky Etuokwu, Lagos zone, Otegbayo Modupe and Kaduna zone, Adamu Abdulkadri; National Chief Whip, George Chibuike Nelson and Chief Welfare Officer, Adejoke Oyeleke.