The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), has commended its members on essential services for ensuring uninterrupted supply of petroleum products to every nooks and crannies of the country during the lockdown occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The union, however, decried the harassment and intimidation of oil company workers by security agents, calling on oil companies and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to provide adequate security passes for the workers.
NUPENG in a statement by its President and General Secretary, Prince Williams Akporeha and Olawale Afolabi, respectively, said petroleum tanker drivers, petrol station workers, petroleum products depot workers, oil and gas suppliers, and liquefied petroleum gas retailers, had made NUPENG and the entire labour movement proud as they moved through difficult and dangerous situations to ensure fuel supply to Nigerians.
The statement read in part: “The leadership of NUPENG has reviewed the roles of our members in the frontline in this critical period as Nigerians fight to contain the spread of the deadly and contagious coronavirus pandemic and we are proud to say our members on essential services have made us proud.
“In fact, not only have they made NUPENG and the United Labour Congress of Nigeria proud, our petroleum tanker drivers and others have made the entire labour movement proud by continuing to ensure uninterrupted supply of petroleum products to every nooks and crannies of the country despite the difficult and sometimes, dangerous situations as most states across the country are on lockdown.
“Once again, we appeal to state governments, security agents and Nigerians in general to cooperate with members of our unions who are risking their lives to provide essential services in the nation.”
NUPENG also appealed to corporate organisations to provide sanitisers and other safety kits to members of the union on essential services, to protect them and members of their families.
It stated: “We want to use the opportunity to call on oil companies and the DPR to provide adequate pass to our members on essential services to end the harassment and intimidation they are being subjected to by security agents across the country.”
N’ Delta Struggle: Foremost Historian Lauds Ogonis’ Pioneering Role
Foremost Historian and Niger Delta Scholar, Prof Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa, has lauded the Ogoni people over their pioneering role in advancing the course of the Niger Delta people in Environmental rights consciousness and the agitation for improved standards of living in the oil rich region.
Speaking at the maiden launching and unveiling of the Pan Ogoni Magazine at the Atrium Event Centre in Port Harcourt at the weekend, the Prof Emeritus of the University of Port Harcourt, the eminent scholar described the Ogonis as, “ trail blazers, innovators and unapologetic” in their quest for the restoration of the polluted Ogoni environment and by extension the Niger Delta by oil exploratory activities of prospecting Oil companies.
Going down memory lane, he said working Ogoni leaders like the late Ken Saro Wiwa revealed the identity of Ogoni as a unique people that are undeterred in the pursuit of any course.
He said through the efforts, other Ogoni issues of environmental rights in Nigeria were brought to the fore of global reckoning thereby setting the pace for a renowned clamour for the fight against oil pollution and environmental justice in Nigeria.
The eminent scholar who commended the vision of the Pan Ogoni Magazine, called for unity of purpose among the Ogoni people to achieve the objectives of the Ogoni struggle.
He said the magazine should be used as a platform for constructive engagements and articulation of the ideals of the Ogoni struggle and and the Niger Delta in general.
Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman of the advisory board of the Pan Ogoni Magazine, Engr Olu Andah Wai-Ogosu had declared that the vision of the magazine was to put Ogoni in the right perspective by creating avenue for critical discourses and placing Ogoni in its right pedestals by correcting the distorted facts of history about the Ogoni people.
Wait-Ogosu called on all Ogoni stakeholders to partner with the vision to achieve the objectives promoting the ideals of discipline, hardwork, bravery resilience and other deeds of prowess that are the hallmarks of the Ogoni and the Niger Delta people.
Irregular Operational Licences: DPR Seals Four Filling Stations In Anambra
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sealed off four filling stations in Anambra State for conducting their businesses without up-to-date operating licensces.
The Operations Controller, Awka office of the DPR, Mr Okiemute Akpomudjere, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Awka on Friday.
Akpomudjere said that apart from being a requirement of the law to have a valid operating license, the marketers would also have the advantage of enjoying all privileges of business entities, including claims in the event of accident.
He said the Department had met with Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Lubricant and Engine Oil Association, LPG Retailers Association and the National Association of LPG Marketers, to inform them on the license drive going on in the state.
According to him, we have observed that most marketers do not have current licenses, which means that their operating licenses are not current, but they are required by DPR regulations to have a valid license to operate.
“So we have engagements with all the stakeholders, including petroleum marketers, gas dealers and lubricant dealers and informed them on the need to regularise their operations by renewing their license and avert being shut down.
“This week alone, we shut down five filling stations belonging to major marketers: we chose to begin with the big ones so that the smaller ones will have an idea of what will come to them, because we are embarking on an aggressive license drive.
“In the course of our interface, they told us that a major challenge they are facing is the issue of tax clearance from the Tax Office and that is essentially because their books are not up-to-date, so we have told them to keep a good accounting system and sort it out because that is not an excuse,” he said.
Akpomudjere said the DPR would be stringent in enforcing use of the right metering to avoid taking undue advantage of their customers.
DPR is working to ensure that there is right dispensing of products, while marketers now have the right to fix prices, they don’t have the right to under-dispense or shortchange customers.
“We want to sound a note of warning to marketers to ensure that they dispense the right volumes and make sure that Nigerians have value for their money.
“Our teams are in the field to make sure that the meters are correct, we are determined to protect unsuspecting Nigerians,” he said.
Responding to the non-renewal of members’ operating licenses, Mr Chinedu Anyaso, Chairman, IPMAN, Enugu Depot, said the association had been encouraging members to update.
Petroleum Subsidy Removal’ll Unlock Nigeria’s Economic Prospects – Economist
An economist, Mr Okechukwu Unegbu, says the Federal Government’s removal of petroleum subsidy will unlock the country’s economic prospects.
Unegbu, a former President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), made the assertion in an interview with The Tide source in Lagos last Friday.
The economist noted that the removal of the petroleum subsidy would open up the sector for new investment.
He said the government was courageous in removing the subsidy because “it is unsustainable, especially in this era of declining revenue.
“Government just has to let the subsidy go and allow the forces of demand and supply to determine the price.
“ This is a principle of free market economy which drives economic growth.
He noted that regulators must be given more powers to enforce price compliance from petroleum dealers who flout the rules.
He also suggested that the various labour unions must not embark on strike over the subsidy removal because it would be inimical to the economy.
“The union should look at the positives of the new policy and not to focus on needless strikes.
“At the initial time, the cost of basic essentials will surge but will decline after more players venture into the sector,” he said.
Report say that the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol was increased to N151.56 per litre with effect from September 2.
This was disclosed in an internal memo and issued by the Petroleum and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) Ibadan Depot.
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