Connect with us

News

Govt Officials, Politicians Divert N621bn Roads Repair Funds, NUPENG Alerts

Published

on

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has accused officials of the Ministry of Works and Housing and some politicians of diverting N621billion funds budgeted for the repairs of 21 deplorable and critical federal roads across the country, while the conditions of the roads have worsened and unmotorable nationwide.
The union claimed that officials of the Ministry of Works and Housing were now going around showing pictures of roads done in June and August, 2021 to justify payment made from the N621billion approved in October, 2021for the identified 21 critical roads.
In a statement, yesterday,NUPENG’s President, Prince Williams Akporeha; and General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale; threatened to declare a nationwide strike without notice demanding immediate stoppage to fund releases among others.
The union demanded the setting up of a competent monitoring and validation team comprising all those stakeholders, the pre award pictures of the 21 identified roads taken to be compared with pictures of post repairs/reconstruction situation, immediate review of transport freight rates to reflect the operational realities of the petroleum distribution value chain, among others.
NUPENG recalled the concerns of the National Chairman of Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), on Wednesday, February 8, 2022, and the President of the Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), on Thursday, February 10, 2021, explaining the reasons behind the increasing deterioration of health and safety provisions for PTD members and the rising number of roads and fire accidents involving the petroleum trucks across the country.
Among others, the statement reads: “In as much as we understand the unfortunate situation the transporters have found themselves, NUPENG, as a responsible and responsive trade union organisation cannot afford to sit idle and watch her able bodied members continued to be wasted away as sacrificial items as well as the wanton destruction of millions of public lives and properties, so as to manage the operational costs by transporters due to inadequate freight rates being paid to them.
“Many of our members have constantly been lodging complaints of being forced to drive with worn-out tyres and other unsafe vehicular parts thereby putting their safety at high risk.
“More worrisome is the fact that the conditions of work of these drivers have remained same for more than six years now and the transporters have been foot- dragging in committing to a revised collective Bargaining Agreement for the conditions of work for the Petroleum Tanker Drivers due to high cost of operations and low freight rates.
“You will all recall that at the end of the quarterly Branch Executive Council meeting of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, held at PTD House, Emene, Enugu on the 25th of September, 202l, the union issued a firm and decisive ultimatum on the deplorable state of the federal highways and the painful experiences of our members while carrying out their duties across the country.
“The management team of NNPC under Mallam Mele Kyari immediately apprehended the situation then to avert the situation of industrial action of the union, by calling the leadership of the union to two separate meetings on the 10th of October, 2O21in lbadan and 12th October, 2021 in Abuja.
“In attendance at the 12th October were critical Stakeholders such as the FIRS, FRSC, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners and NUPENG.
“These two meetings resulted into signing of communiqué indicating the readiness and willingness of NNPC to finance the rehabilitation of identified 21 critical roads at an estimated sum of N621billion through Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme.
“On the basis of this communiqué, the union suspended the intended industrial action, but we were very clear in our statement, that should the spirit and letter of the agreement not fully implemented with focus on those jointly identified critical roads or attempt is made to divert the funds, the union will not give further warning to resume the intended actions.
“You will recall the proposal was tabled before the Federal Executive Council and was graciously approved by Federal Executive Council in-session. Unfortunately, our worst fear concerning the struggle is gradually unfolding with information coming out from reliable sources that some elements in the garbs of being state governments, officials of Ministry of Works and Housing and desperate politicians are already dipping their soiled hands into these funds and diverting them to roads already budgeted for and done since last year.
“The officials of Ministry of Works and Housing are going around showing pictures of roads done in June and August 2021 to justify payment made from the N621billion which was approved in October, 2021for the identified 21 critical roads.
“We have our facts and figures, and we shall not be cowed into allowing the N621billion to go same way others budgeted funds have gone. We demand immediate halt to further release of the fund until that a competent monitoring and validation team comprising all those stakeholders that signed the communiqué is formed.
“The pre award pictures of the 21 identified roads are taken, which will be compared with pictures of post repairs/reconstruction situation. The N621billion was approved because of our demand and struggle; therefore, we owe our members and the general public the responsibility to ensure that every kobo of the approved fund is accounted for. Taxpayers’ money must be accounted for.
“Immediate review of transport freight rates to reflect the operational realities of the petroleum distribution value chain. For these critical issues, we have the mandate of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Union to commence immediate mobilisation of all our members for resumption of our earlier suspended action.
“We hereby plead with the general public to please bear with us as our action may resume without further notice and that these issues raised are of and should be of national concerns.
“An injury to one is an injury to all. We urge every patriotic Nigerians to also rise up and join us in this struggle, this is not a fight for NUPENG alone, it is our collective fight.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

Publish Details Of Parties’ Financial Transactions, SERAP Tasks INEC

Published

on

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, to publish the reports of parties’ accounts and balance sheets.
The body also wants details of the guidelines and steps being taken to prevent vote buying in the forthcoming elections and to prosecute vote buyers and other electoral offenders.
In a letter, yesterday, SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, noted that citizens have the right to know about the accounts and financial transactions of parties.
He said transparency and accountability would curb the influence of money in politics, promote a level playing field, and remove the risks to the independence of political actors and would-be public office holders.
The organisation insisted it is both immoral and illegal to pay citizens to vote for a particular political party or standard-bearer.
“Unpunished cases of vote buying would continue to undermine good governance, the rule of law, moral values, as well as hinder citizens’ participation in elections”, it said.
SERAP told INEC that when candidates buy votes, there are possibilities that they will disregard for democratic rules.
“Vote buying and related electoral offences encourage poor governance and weaken citizens’ capacity to hold their elected officials accountable for their actions.”
SERAP charged the electoral umpire to collaborate with anti-corruption agencies to ensure the effective prosecution of any outstanding cases of vote buying and related electoral offences.
The letter urged INEC to act within 14 days or face legal actions that would compel it to comply with the request.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

RSG Recommits To Engaging Youth Positively

Published

on

The Rivers State Government has said it was committed to engaging youths positively and empowering them.
The State Chief Executive, Chief Nyesom Wike, stated this during the opening ceremony of the Uplifting African Youth Through Basketball Programme in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Wike said the issues of youths and young adults were very important to his administration, while expressing delight that youths were being built up with critical life skills in sports, communication, and entrepreneurial leadership skills needed for Rivers State, Nigeria, and Africa.
“This administration is very interested in youth engagements, we want to make sure that our youths are very inclusive, participate, play their roles, and be well mentored and well-motivated to be able to fulfill all of their potentials in life, educationally, in sports, morally and so we are here to support”, the governor stressed.
The governor expressed gratitude to the leader of the Organised Basketball Network (OBN) and his team, for their efforts and the support of the US Consulate, while urging them to visit the Real Madrid Football Academy in Port Harcourt, to appreciate the efforts of the state government in the area of youth engagement.
The youth friendly governor, said “I want to encourage our youths that as you walk together in the next two days, you would learn how to be tolerant with one another and to know that gender based violence is totally not acceptable and that it is inhumane, I know it is just two days, but a lot can be achieved that can be life time impactful”.
In her remarks, the United States Consulate’s Deputy Public Affairs Officer, Jennifer Foltz said the United States and Nigeria have very special and close relationship, adding that the Consulate feels this was the right time to do a sports programme.
“Sports diplomacy is part of what we do, it is part of some ways we build stronger relationships between our two countries, sports brings people together, and even if you do not speak the same language you can still play sports together”, Foltz stressed.
Earlier, the leader of the Organised Basketball Network, Obinna Ekezie said OBN was a platform founded for the development of grassroots basketball in Nigeria and Africa with a mission to develop the next generation of world-class African student athletes and consistently create opportunities to help them advance their careers overseas, through basketball scholarship.
He said the project uplifting African youths was a project to provide inclusion and opportunities for under privileged talented African youths to learn important life skills through basketball.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

PDP Assembly, Reps Candidates Emerge In Rivers

Published

on

Candidates for the House of Representatives and House of Assembly have emerged following the conduct of primaries by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, yesterday.
According to the official results, Solomon Bob emerged the party’s candidate for Abua/Odual/Ahoada East Federal Constituency while Victor Obuzor emerged the candidate for Ahoada West/Ogba/Egbema Federal Constituency.
Also, Awaji Inombek Abiante won the ticket for Andoni/Opobo Federal Constituency, just as Boma Goodhead returned elected for the Asari-Toru/Akuku-Toru Federal Constituency while Cyril Godwin Hart won Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency ticket.
The results further show that Felix Nwaeke emerged the candidate of the PDP for Eleme/Tai/Oyigbo Federal Constituency, with Boniface Emerengwa emerging winner for Ikwerre/Emohua Federal Constituency.
In the same vein, Kelechi Nwogu cruised to victory as the candidate for Etche/Omuma Federal Constituency while Dumnamene Dekor won Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency ticket.
Similarly, Kingsley Ogundu Chinda emerged the House of Representatives candidate for Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency, while Alabo Victor Tamunomiekaye won Okrika/Ogu/Bolo Federal Constituency ticket.
Chima Boms won Port Harcourt Federal Constituency 2 while Barrister Blessing Amadi is the winner of the primary election for Port HarcourtFederal Constituency 1.
For the Rivers State House of Assembly primary, Hon Dominic Iderima picked the ticket for Abua/Odual, Mrs Queen Williams picked the ticket for Ahoada East 1,Rt Hon Ehe Edison emerged the candidate for Ahoada East 2, while Hon Sokari Goodboy Sokari cruised to victory for Ahoada West.
Hon Major Jack won the ticket for Akuku-Toru 1, Hon Opuende Lolo Isaiah is the candidate for Akuku-Toru 2, Hon Ofiks Kabangs Christopher grabbed the ticket to represent Andoni, whileHon Tekena Wellington Granville got the ticket for Asari-Toru 1.
Also, a serving member, Enemi Alabo George easily won the ticket for Asari-Toru 2, just as Hon Victor Oko Jumbo got the nod to represent Bonny, while Hon Abbey Peter emerged the candidate for Degema.
Hon Igwe Obey Aforji emerged the PDP candidate for Eleme, Emohua will be represented by Mrs Justina Emeji, Hon Onwuka Ignatiuswon the ticket to represent Etche 1, while Hon Chimezie Nwankwor is the candidate for Etche 2.
The present member representing Gokana, Hon Dumle Maol, will retain his ticket for the seat, Prince Lemchi Nyeche emerged the candidate for Ikwerre 1, Mrs Barile Nwakoh won the ticket for Khana1, while Barrister Dinebari Loolo got the ticket for Khana 2.
In Obio/Akpor1, Hon Amaewhule Martin Chike was returned, just as Mrs Emilia Lucky Amadi emerged the candidate for Obio/Akpor 2, and Frankline Nwabochi will fly PDP flag for Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni1.
In the same token, Mrs Nkemuika Ezekwe will fight for Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni2 seat on the platform of the PDP, Davids Arnold Okobiriari won the ticket for Ogu/Bolo, a serving member, Somiari Steward Linda will return in Okrika, while Nwankwo Sylvanus emerged for Omuma seat.
Orubienimigha Adolphus grabbed the ticket for Opobo/Nkoro,Hon Gerald Oforji emerged for Oyigbo, Solomon Wami won the ticket for Port Harcourt1,Hon Tonye Smart Adoki will return for Port Harcourt2, Hon Azeru Opara emerged for Port Harcourt3, and Ngbar Bernard Baridamue won the ticket for Tai.

By: Nelson Chukwudi & Reward Akwu

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Trending