**We won’t frustrate govt’s efforts, says NUPENG
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday threatened mass action if the persistent fuel scarcity is not urgently addressed.
It said it could be forced to demonstrate against public officers who have not delivered on their mandate and to demand their removal for allowing increasing suffering and deprivation to become the lot of Nigerians.
“Electricity has become an essential commodity, public utilities have since gone to the dogs, petroleum products have grown wings and vanished, compounding an already bad transport system, reducing Nigerians in all parts of the nation to compulsory trekkers.
“Having observed the increasing alarm and seeming confusion within the corridors of power on possible solutions to the socio-economic quagmire, we make haste to say that Nigeria is indeed at crossroads today and the extent of suffering is such that this nation has not witnessed throughout its history.
“We, therefore, want the government at the centre to quickly talk to Nigerian workers and the masses on why we should continue having trust and patience with them.
“We urge them to tell us why we should not be in the streets calling for mass resignations of officers of this government, and to also tell us why we should not be worried when all the macro-economic indices are moving downwards,” NLC said.
NLC, at a briefing in Lagos by its factional president, Comrade Joe Ajaero, along with his deputy, Achese Igwe, who doubles as the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) president, urged the government to focus on getting the refineries working.
It said the licenses granted local refiners should be reviewed and withdrawn from those who lack the capacity.
The workers’ body said with stolen funds being returned by looters, the government should deploy the monies to execution of projects.
“We urge the government to come clean as promised and account for what it has actually recovered from the treasury looters, giving Nigerians details of the culprits and how much each stole.
“We also urge the president and his cabinet to set up appropriate machinery to deploy the recovered funds to fill the resource gaps complained about because of the dip in global oil prices,” NLC said.
Igwe said NUPENG was willing to collaborate with the government to ensure the petroleum products are distributed seamlessly when available.
He added, however, that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was yet to reach out to NUPENG leadership on how the union can help end the fuel crisis.
“NNPC is yet to partner with NUPENG. They are yet to sit down with NUPENG on how to get this problem solved. But we are willing to partner with NNPC to end this fuel crisis,” Igwe said.
On the leadership crisis in NLC, Ajaero said his faction was still open to reconciliation, adding a seven-man committee that was set up to reconcile the factions at the state chapter level was frustrated.
“We are waiting for reconciliation. For now we have two NLCs, one for the government and one for the people. We are for the people,” Ajaero said.