25 June 2014, Abuja – The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria on Tuesday commended the Federal Government on its decision to accept foreign help in the fight against insurgency.
President of PENGASSAN, Mr Babatunde Ogun, gave the commendation during the 4th triennial national delegates’ conference of the union in Abuja.
He appealed to everyone to support the government at all levels to overcome the insurgency problems.
Ogun said, “The expected end of Boko Haram insurgency would be a wake up call on the government to reappraise her security apparatus and network.
“Particular attention must be paid to our porous borders and activities of the immigration officers.
“There is the need to strengthen security agencies through proper training and re-training and the provision of technological equipment.”
He said the killing of innocent school children in their sleep and burning of their schools could not be condoned by any nation.
He pointed out that the security situation in the country today was so abject that the nation seemed to be in a perpetual state of war.
He said, “Everywhere you turn, there are safety and security challenges.
“As security forces battle with kidnapping in the East and the South-South states, the West is bedevilled with ritual killings.
“The middle belt region is engulfed in the crisis between indigenous farmers and herdsmen armed with sophisticated weapons.
“But the biggest security challenge in Nigeria in the last couple of years is the attacks by Boko Haram sect.”
He identified unemployment as one of the greatest challenges facing the nation, as many graduates and skilled youths were roaming the streets in search of jobs.
He stressed that all the prompt and promises of government to create jobs through efforts of the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme had not yielded much dividends.
Ogun urged government to increase funding of the SURE-P project to make a meaningful impact.
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu, said that government was determined to fight unemployment in the country.
Wogu disagreed with PENGASSAN that SURE-P project had not made most impact, insisting that the Federal Government had created thousands of jobs through the programmme.
He said through an arm of the SURE-P, the government created 3,000 jobs in all the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that over 200 delegates are participating in the two-day conference.
The conference is expected to produce new national executives that will steer the affairs of the union for another three year.