As the world marks Workers’ Day, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and former vice president, Atiku Abaubakar have lauded the courage of workers facing daily risks of infections and death because of COVID-19.
According to NUPENG, in a statement by Williams Akporeha and Afolabi Olawale, national president and general secretary, respectively, said: “We salute the indomitable and patriotic fighting spirit of oil and gas workers, medical workers, law enforcement agents, market men and women, farmers, journalists, drivers and other essential service workers for their invaluable services to the nation.
“We pray that God will continue to protect and strengthen them in this struggle as they discharge their humane, legitimate and selfless services to humanity,” the duo said.
They also commended the Department of Petroleum Resources for supporting the operations of oil and gas companies during the lockdown.
According to them, the support has succeeded in preventing stoppage of operations and unnecessary loss of jobs by workers.
On his part, Atiku, in a statement, thanked medical personnel, who have successfully treated and discharged hundreds of coronavirus patients, including his son, Mohammed.
“Sadly while we had to embark on lockdown to stem the spread of the virus, what was left of the hemorrhaging global economy took a bruising. In the aftermath of that, jobs both formal and informal, were the first casualties of this invisible and virulent enemy.
“There is no doubt that when the world comes out of this depressing anguish, governments will look around and see the absolute necessity to increase spending on health care, human capital development, better standard of living for the people and all those other topical issues that labour has long called our attention toward. We are all witnesses to the reality today that governments across the world have fallen short of the requirement to keep people safe and healthy if there is a sudden and unexpected shock. For a developing country like ours, this is a moment of truth – a time for us to look inwards and accept that the strength of our national security is intrinsically connected to how virile our workforce is.”