Mkpoikana Udoma 30 September 2016, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Nigerian oil workers, under the umbrella of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers, NUPENG, on Thursday vowed to shut down the country if the Federal Government went ahead with the proposed sale of critical national assets to fund the 2016 budget.
Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Port Harcourt Zone, Chief Charles Eleto, while briefing newsmen in Port Harcourt said the union is not in support of the federal government plans because selling of the national assets will kill the economy.
Eleto advised that those who intends to buy the assets should forget the idea but rather lend the money to the Federal Government to bail out the nation from recession.
He emphasised that NUPENG is not going back on its position and will follow up with a strike action if the federal government attempts to sell these assets.
According to him, “We have affirmed the position of our National President, Igwe Achese, against the sale of the nation’s assets. NUPENG is not and will never encourage the sale of any national asset. We don’t have any other country than Nigeria. Selling of the assets can never help Nigerians in any way.
“In the alternative, Nigerians who feel they have enough money to buy our national assets should be patriotic enough to loan the Federal Government money to run the country and this money will be refunded later on.
“This is a better option than laying hands on our national assets. When you take away our commonwealth now, where do we get another one that can sustain the country. Instead of taking away Nigeria’s assets, you can lend the Federal Government money so that the country’s economy will improve.
“We have confidence in our national president who has spoken strongly that the national assets should not be tampered with. Past administrations suffered to establish these national assets; so, why is the government planning to sell them.
“Our fear is that there is a hidden agenda. For what reason are they selling those assets? Nigeria is not the only country in recession. The assets were established for a purpose. Our grandchildren should come and see the properties that their forefathers established. Are they telling us that they (assets) are not yielding profits?
“The excuse that the proceeds from the sale of the national assets would be used to fund the 2016 national budget is unacceptable.”