Fred Itua, Abuja
Former minister of Housing and Urban Development, Nduese Essien, yesterday, raised the alarm over the massive lay off of contractors and staff in the Niger Delta by oil producing companies.
The former member of the House of Representatives, who doubles as leader of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Elders’ Forum in Akwa Ibom State, claimed the Federal Government was setting wrong priorities for itself. He said rather than appropriate funds for joint cash calls to the petroleum industry, it is making budgeting allocation for cattle rearing.
He said the delayed release of funds for joint cash calls to oil companies have resulted in the termination of contracts with service operators.
“Disappointingly, when appropriation is being made for cattle rearing and monies promptly released, the joint cash calls to the petroleum industry is always suffering delayed payments. Currently, some petroleum industry operators have laid off some of their services contractors who have equally laid off their workers, thus compounding the unemployment situation.
“The National Assembly should as soon as possible, vire the provision for Ruga to other uses to clear itself of complicity in this scheme.”