The head of the main union of oil workers in Nigeria said on Saturday that his members could not afford to embark on strike now because it would increase the suffering of Nigerians.
Achese Igwe, the President of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, stated this while addressing journalists on Saturday at the end of the union’s 3rd Quarter Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) Meeting in Asaba, Delta.
He said the union must consider its actions at this challenging time for the country.
“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,” he said.
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.
“It would not be right for the government to contemplate increase in price of petroleum products in an environment where nothing was working, cost of goods are high and the exchange rate fast tumbling,” he said.
On concession of government companies and 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.
Mr. Igwe said the union would continue to encourage the government to create the enabling environment for Nigerians to start investing in refineries.
He said all over the world, the private sector invests in the building of refineries, gas plants, extraction among others.
The NUPENG president said that government must ensure that all its investments and agencies in the country are functioning effectively.
He said that government must make the refineries to work and secure the pipelines. He added that there was no cabal, criminal, institution that was greater than the government.
“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,” Mr. Igwe said.