28 February 2014, Abuja – Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) yesterday in Abuja yesterday blamed multinationals, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for the current fuel scarcity being experienced across the country.
Speaking in Abuja, NUPENG’s president, Achese Igwe, also threatened to stop fuel distribution and shut down the nation’s oil sector over alleged unfair labour practices and other nefarious activities by major oil marketers and multi-national oil companies in Nigeria.
Igwe claimed that the activities of oil marketers and multi-national companies amounted to economic sabotage and if not checked would lead to unrest in the sector, calling on the government to quickly intervene before it was too late.
He refuted insinuation that the current scarcity of petroleum produce is being caused by the labour union, and noted that the continuous importation of petroleum products in the country, contrary to the advice by the labour union that government revamp the refineries, was the reason for the scarcity.
He said: “Nigerians deserve to know the actual cause of the scarcity. It is very unfortunate that it is only in the country that refineries build with tax payers’ money are not running. Why are multinationals not encouraging the building of refineries in the country. They are the ones advising the government on the continuous importation of petroleum products.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has faulted the supesnion of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as CBN governor, saying it was flawed and negated due process and the Act establishing the CBN.
The labour unions said Sanusi’s suspension was capable of discouraging future whistle blowers in government as well as casting a pall on government’s fight against corruption, none of which is good for the image of the government at the moment.
In a statement signed by its national president, Comrade Abdulwahed Omar, the NLC said government’s action was negatively pre-emptive and malicious by virtue of the fact that full investigations into the allegations had not been concluded before it removed Sanusi, and also the fact that it had sent to the Senate for confirmation the name of his successor.
The statement reads in part: “We find it intriguing that government and Sanusi could part ways in this fashion. We recall Sanusi’s anti-worker policies/statements and, especially his stance during the fuel price increase protests in January 2012 which was clearly in support of government and the fuel subsidy scammers. To this end, it could be argued he was not really interested in fighting corruption but in seeking the headlines.”