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Re-engage ex militants for pipeline protection, NUPENG tells Buhari … Vows to resist fuel price increase

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG), has called on the Federal Government to re-engage the services of ex-Niger Delta militants, who were sacked at the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari, for the protection of oil pipelines.

Besides, the union has also warned, against the rumored planned increase in the price of petroleum products, saying that, it would resist any attempt by the government to further increase fuel price.

President of NUPENG, Comrade Igwe Achese, who was delivering a Key Note address, at the 2016 NUPENG National Education Seminar, in Abuja, on Wednesday, said Buhari Government should in the interim reinstate the ex-militants to end disruption of oil facilities.

The NUPENG president said: “We frowned at the frequent vandalization of pipelines in the country, by so-called militants, which has depleted our supply of crude oil for exports. We therefore call on the Federal Government, to increase security surveillance, to stem the tide and establish a Pipeline Protection Agency, to be fully committed to reduce the scourge.

“In the interim, we suggested that, the former private security outfits hired by the last administration be reinstated, so that there will be no further disruption of oil facilities, which enable us meet the 2.8 million barrels production per day then.”

On the planned increase in pump price, Achese warned that NUPENG and entire labour force in Nigeria will rise to resist it with all its power.

He said; “N145 is the price, so there is no price increase for now, we have said clearly that any price increment would be resisted by us. It is a rumour for now, and that is why we are working very hard to partner with IPMAN and other necessary stakeholders in depot communities, to see that scarcity of petroleum is abated, and the as the issue of price increment is also abated.”

Achese warned of a possible strike next week, if government failed to call to order the multinational companies, who have engaged in anti-labour and union activities.

“Let me use this opportunity to call on the Federal Government, to intervene in the unresolved labour issues with the following companies, so that we do not witness a nationwide industrial action by next week when our 21-day ultimatum expires,” he said.

He condemned the anti-union posture of the international oil companies, as the constitution stipulates freedom of association and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Convention 87 and 98 of which Nigeria is a signatory.

He said the anti-union postures of the multinationals are brewing tension in the oil and gas industry.

Achese said; “We are opposed to the sale of the nation’s assets, especially the refineries. We believe that the proposed sale in unnecessary, and not in our national interest, as they will be sold to their cronies as scraps. The union will resist any attempt to sell these national assets and advise that government should look at other areas to revamp the economy.

“The states of our roads are still nothing to write home about, as they are all dilapidated. We condemn the slow pace of work by the contractors recently mobilized to site.”