By Moses Ebosele –
The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG) on Tuesday expressed worry over what it described as “parlous state” of the Nigerian economy.
The union in a statement issued by its President, Dr Igwe Achese alleged that President Muhamadu Buhari’s administration is “yet to fully tackle the economic challenges facing the country”.
According to the statement, the union is concerned about the weak state of the naira, growing inflation, rise in the cost of prices of goods and essential services, unemployment and growing crime rates in the country.
The Union explained that the current sufferings of the masses “which Mr. President recently acknowledged should be uppermost in the administration”.
The Union called for the declaration of a state of emergency on the economy, adding that Mr President should involve other stakeholders into the Economic Team headed by the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo”.
NUPENG said: “The Union therefore wants the Federal Government to diversify the economy and venture into agricultural development and solid minerals through public private partnership.
“It is not enough for it to be involved in rhetorics while time is tickling out. The Federal Government should pay its Joint Ventures funds to Oil Companies in order to stimulate the sector and stop the current redundancies, which has become the order of the day.
“The Union also appealed to the Government to use part of the looted funds and the Abacha money to pay verified contractors especially those involved in road construction works in order to bring back workers”..
Explaining further, the union said that tax holidays and free lands should be given to genuine investors “as it will go a long way to put the economy on track.
The union also called for an efficient tax regime “that will make sure that businesses especially owned by the super rich are adequately taxed, as most of them explore the loopholes in the system to dodge payment of taxes”.
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