NUPENG can’t afford to go on strike now – Igwe

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According to reports, the President of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Achese Igwe, said the union could not afford to embark strike now because it would increase the suffering of Nigerians.

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Igwe stated this while addressing newsmen on Saturday at the end of the NUPENG 3rd Quarter Petroleum Tanker Drivers Meeting in Asaba, Delta State.

He said this is a challenging time, adding that the union must at this time consider its actions.

The president, however, warned that the union would not hesitate to resist policies that would frustrate hopes of common people.

According to him, the union will resist any attempt by the government to increase the price of petroleum products.

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Igwe said: “It would not be right for the government to contemplate increase in price of petroleum products in an environment where noting was working, cost of goods are high and the exchange rate fast tumbling.

“I tell you if NUPENG should go on any industrial action, we will be creating more hardship for Nigerians.

“I tell you, when the need arises that we must take some necessary actions in putting things in proper perspective, we will react.”

On concession of government companies, including refineries, the NUPENG chief said the country was not ripe for it and that the right policies and necessary measure must be put in place first.

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Igwe said the union would continue to encourage the government to create the enabling environment for Nigerians to start investing in the refinery sector.

He said all over the world, private sectors invest in the building of refineries, gas plants, extraction among others.

The NUPENG president said government must ensure that all its investments and agencies in the country are functioning effectively.

He said government must make the refineries to work and secure the pipelines, adding that there was no cabal, criminal, institution that was greater than the government.

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Igwe said: “On issues of privatisation of our refineries, the answer is no and I have no doubt in my mind and from the last meeting I had with Mr. President, his position over the issue of refinery showed that he is determined to make our refineries work.

“But should government decide to sell the refineries, I will tell you obviously that we will resist it by the Grace of God Almighty.”

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