Amidst apprehension over the consequences of the proposed oil sector deregulation policy of the federal government, the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has advise President Umar Musa Yar’ Adua to convene a meeting of stakeholders to look at the policy.
Speaking through its president Comrade Peter Apkatason, the union maintained that only a stakeholders’ meeting to discuss the planned total deregulation of the down- stream sector of the petroleum industry can stave the impending showdown
With the government over the policy which will shoot up the pump price of petroleum products.
The NUPENG president who spoke in Abuja recently at the commissioning of building that was constructed by the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) branch of NUPENG in Abuja predicted calamity if government goes ahead to deregulate without giving stakeholders the opportunity of appraising it..
According to him, the nation’s oil and gas sector is being managed by people who have little or knowledge about the sector.
“The timing of the deregulation is very wrong. We have said no to it and we are very serious about it.
Our major concern is that we are increasingly seeing a situation where people with little or no knowledge about the petroleum industry are being charged with formulating policies for the sector. This is not acceptable to us. The only way forward now is for the government to immediately convoke an all stakeholders’ meeting to fashion a way forward”
Wondering why government has tactically jettisoned the Oil and Gas Industry Reform Committee (OGIC) report that was put together by experts in the sector and which the government openly accepted, the NUPENG president expressed shock that the all-important report has been dropped.
“Why are you aborting it without even trying to see how it would work? You have to allow that work and see if there is need for a review. You do not abort a process that all stakeholders participated and put together for a policy which obviously is ill-timed and has capacity to plunge the nation into avoidable calamity. We have said no and we must discuss for them to know why we are saying no. Our no is based on patriotism for this nation. This new policy direction is capable of triggering a lot of negative socio-economic and possibly political consequences”, maintained.