Fiery, one-time secretary general of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Chief Frank Kokori has lampooned the Federal Government over the proposed deregulation of the nation’s oil sector.
The development was one of the highlight of the commissioning of the new national secretariat of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), a branch of NUPENG, in Abuja where the branch disclosed that it was launching N500Million fund for the acquisition of towing trucks and cranes for its members.
The proposal to deregulate will lead to removal of subsidy on petroleum products, but the labour leader said last week that Nigeria was not yet ripe for deregulation.
Kokori told the gathering of oil industry practitioners, government officials and labour that Nigeria is not yet ready for full-blown free market economy in the oil and gas sector adding that full regulation of the strategic sector was too simplistic and pedestrian.
”They said investors will not come in until you deregulate, that is too simplistic, pedestrian, in other words, you are not in government, you are not a leader, if you are a leader, you cannot say the oil industry will fall into the hands of some cabal,” he said.
Calling on the government to deal with saboteurs of the nation’s economy, he declared that: “The solution is that government must always be there, especially as Nigeria is a mono-product economy, to put checks and balances in every sphere of the economy. Nigeria is not yet ripe for an uncontrolled free market economy”.