NUPENG Voices Concern Over Rumored N621b Diversion For Road Rehabilitation.
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has expressed concern over purported intentions by some organisations to siphon N621 billion designated by the Federal Government for the rehabilitation of 21 important highways throughout the country.
If the government does not penalize individuals responsible for the conduct, the union’s leadership has vowed to go on a statewide strike.
The leadership of the union was disturbed by statements credited to the National Chairman of Petroleum Tanker Drivers on February 8, 2022 and the President of the Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) on Thursday, February 10, 2021, according to a joint statement by its President and General Secretary, Williams Akporeha and Afolabi Olawale.
The union said it appreciated the difficult circumstances in which carriers find themselves, but that as a responsible and proactive trade union, it would not stand by while its members perished on the roads and millions of naira were lost in accidents.
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“…You will all recall that at the end of the quarterly Branch Executive Council meeting of the petroleum tanker drivers, held at PTD House, Emene, Enugu, on September 25, 2021, the union issued a firm and decisive ultimatum on the deplorable state of the Federal highways and the painful experiences of our members while carrying out their duties across the country.
“The management team of the NNPC, under Mallam Mele Kyari, immediately arrested the situation then to avert an industrial action by calling the leadership of the union to two separate meetings on October 10, 2021 in Ibadan and on October 12, 2021 in Abuja.
“In attendance at the October 12 meeting were critical stakeholders, like the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and NUPENG.
“These two meetings resulted in the signing of a communiqué indicating the readiness and willingness of the NNPC to finance the rehabilitation of identified 21 critical roads at an estimated sum of N621 billion through the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme.
“On the basis of this communiqué, the union suspended the intended industrial action, but we were very clear in our statement that should the spirit and letter of the agreement not be fully implemented with focus on those jointly identified critical roads or if any attempt is made to divert the funds, the union would not give further warning before it resumes the intended actions.