The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has challenged the Federal Government to commence of making Nigeria’s Oil & Gas sector more viable.
In a message to mark Nigeria’s 56 Independence day celebration, TUC President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama advised the Federal Government to encourage local refining processes.
In the statement issued by Assistant Secretary General (Media), Comrade Kenneth Mokwenye, TUC said: “The Congress is convinced that the oil and gas workers can successively manage the sector if government stops unnecessary interference”.
He added: “They are capable of making it vibrant enough to fund a large percentage of the national budget. We also call for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). The bill would address the insurgency situation in the Niger Delta as their demands are duly taken care of in the bill.
“Losing over N61trn according the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) report to non-passage of PIB at this time makes us look unserious before the international community. The cost of fighting the insurgents is not inclusive in the amount cited above. What about the lives of our soldiers that are dying on a daily basis? This is a needless war”.
Making reference to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) TUC said the apex Bank has not got it right on a number of policies.
The Congress said: “First is the conscious devaluation of the naira. Today, the naira is not only unpredictable but also subservient to virtually all foreign currencies. We are a mono-economy now battered by the combined forces of devaluation and inflation.
“Growing an economy is about local production/investment directed at massive development. We expect that managers of the economy should know that, regrettably they prefer to dance to the turn of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank”.
The congress commended the Nigeria military so far for the peace in Nigeria, adding that “We also share their pains and that of families who lost their loved ones in the North-east and Niger Delta while trying to stall the activities of the militants. Be that as it may, what the military is doing at the moment in those regions can best be described as “addressing the symptoms”. The main causes of the unrest itself must be looked into – unemployment, poverty, among others.
It also cautioned against reported plan to sale the nation;s assets, “caution should be taken to ensure we do not auction our life-wire to people as being suggested by Nigerian governors during the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting and a few other Nigerians. The consequences of such action would be disastrous. Tell me of any asset sold in this country without hundreds of people losing their jobs! Did they even tell us what they did with the proceeds?