By Bimbola Oyesola
Organised labour in the oil sector has given the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government a hard knock on the parlous state of the economy.
The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG), which expressed grave concern, said the Buhari administration was yet to fully tackle the economic challenges facing the country.
President of the union, Igwe Achese, said NUPENG is concerned about the weak naira, growing inflation, rise in the cost of prices of goods and essential services, unemployment and growing incidences of crime rate in the country.
The union stated that, “the current sufferings of the masses, which the President recently acknowledged should be uppermost in the mind of the administration and should be tackled.
“We call for the declaration of a state of emergency on the economy with a view to urgently address the issues.”
Achese advised Buhari to include other stakeholders in the Economic Team headed by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, even as he added that the team should meet to offer solution, on the way forward.
The union stated that a blessed nation like Nigeria cannot continue to lament with its abundant resources and therefore mandated the Federal Government to diversify the economy by probing into agricultural and solid minerals development through public private partnership.
“It is not enough for it to be involved in rhetoric while time is ticking out,” the Union said.
The NUPENG boss equally called on the Federal Government to pay its Joint Ventures funds to International Oil Companies (IOCs) in order to stimulate the sector and stop the current redundancies, which have become the order of the day.
On the looted funds, the oil workers opined that the Federal Government should use the Abacha money to pay verified contractors, especially those involved in road construction in order to bring back workers on stand-off to work.