NUPENG charges govt on poverty alleviation, epileptic power supply

*Power outage.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

07 April 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has urged the Federal Government to take urgent steps to alleviate the hardships and sufferings of citizens in order to prevent civil unrest in the country.

The labour union’s position was contained in a communique made available to journalists at the end of its Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting, in Abuja.

Members of the CWC also, decried the erratic power supply across the country, lamenting that the economy was still generator-driven and stressing that the privatization of the power sector had failed.

Similarly, leaders of the union at the meeting, declared their total support for the newly inaugurated United Labour Congress, ULC, insisting that efforts by detractors to undermine it would fail.

In a communiqué at the end of the meeting, President and General Secretary, Igwe Achese and Joseph Ogbebor, explained that members of the CWC x-rayed the state of the economy and commended the government for its efforts to shore up the Naira against the Dollar and the drop of the inflationary rate to 17.5 percent.

Leaders of the union contended, however, that a lot still needed to be done to address the current recession and reduce the hunger in the land.

According to the communiqué: “The CWC-in-Session wants the Federal Government to address the challenges of poverty, unemployment, and hunger in the land. It adds that the Federal Government should vigorously address the issue of rising costs of goods and services. The CWC-in-Session calls on the Federal Government to look inward and put structures and strategies to restructure the economy.

“The session wants the National Assembly to quickly put finishing touches on the budget so that it can be passed and assented to by the President so that the liquidity squeeze can be addressed and debts owed contractors paid after verification.

“The CWC-in-Session deliberated on the poor power supply in the country which is adding to the cost of doing business. It laments that the economy is still generator-driven and states that the privatization of the power sector has failed.”

It added that the Federal Government should put pressure on the electricity Generation companies, Gencos, and the Distribution companies, Discos, to be alive to their responsibilities or have their licenses revoked.

On ULC, the communiqué said: “The CWC-in-Session affirmed the membership of NUPENG in the newly formed labour centre, the United Labour Congress (ULC). The session agreed to pursue the ideals and programmes of the ULC. It also congratulated the Union’s President Comrade Igwe Achese as the ULC Deputy President.

“The CWC-in-Session receives with consternation the unscrupulous clandestine moves of some individuals and desperate politicians to paint the collective resolve of workers to come together and freely associate in a bad light to the effect of making attempt to deny the registration of United Labour Congress as a centre for registered Trade Unions in Nigeria.

“The CWC-in-Session strongly noted that freedom of association, most especially for workers is expressly stated in section 40 of the Nigerian constitution and eloquently espoused in the ILO Convention. It noted freedom of association is an inalienable right of Nigerian workers.”

It further noted that “The CWC-in-Session emphasized the fact, therefore that it is only ULC that has made genuine and concrete efforts to be duly registered as a labour centre in Nigeria as required by the la, therefore, e a misnomer and blatant aberration if the wicked wishes of the ignoble cabals are allowed to prevail.

“The CWC-in-Session resolved to do all within its powers for the full realization of the desire and aspiration of the teeming members of the United Labour Congress to get it registered and recognized as a Labour Centre representing major segments of workers in Nigeria. We shall surely overcome.”

About the Author