Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has disagreed sharply with heir own; the Governor of Edo State, Comrade, Adams Oshiomhole, on the controversial deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry as well as the proposed privatisation of the nation’s four refineries.
In what appear as a glaring crack in the once united labour family, Oshiomhole who is NLC’s immediate past president disagreed with NLC. Occasion was the second quadrennial meeting of the National Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers (NUPENG) which held last week in Abuja.
Oshiomhole’s appear shocking to the gathering of labour eggheads who attended the conference. Shipping Position Weekly recalls that labour’s position is that the four refineries must be put in good shape before deregulation can commence.
The Governor contended that vision 20:2020 would be a mirage if Nigeria continues to be a petroleum product importing nation, even as he argued that every policy of government has losers and winners. According to him, “those who manipulate the demurrage” are he winners, while the losers are the general masses. “For every litre you buy, there are winners,” he said.
Specifically, the former labour number one man then went ahead to appeal to members of the labour fraternity to support government’s plans to sell the four refineries, even as he called on the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Odein Ajumogobia to work assiduously to ensure that all the refineries work.
Sounding more specific, the Governor then appealed the leadership of both the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to turn away from what he termed as “orthodox ideas”, especially when certain policies of government are concerned.
However, labour’s position on deregulation and sale of refineries had earlier been espoused by the NLC’s President Abdulwaheed Omar who stressed that “the recent campaign by the Federal Government for deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry has tended to portray the Congress as an unreasonable obstacle to the progress and development of the downstream sector of the industry. For avoidance of doubt, we wish to restate for the umpteenth time that our opposition to the policy is borne out of our experience.