The union advocated the formal training of illegal oil refiners.
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, on Friday urged the Federal Government to establish a pipeline protection agency to check pipeline vandalism.
The President of NUPENG, Igwe Achese, made the appeal at the union’s special delegates’ conference in Lagos. The conference was for the review of the union’s constitution.
Mr. Achese said that the agency should be responsible for monitoring, protecting and salvaging all of the over 5000km stretch of pipelines that traverses Nigeria.
“The union is not happy at the attitude of people who vandalise oil pipelines for pecuniary gains. It has robbed the nation of billions of dollars that should have been used for development,’’ he said.
The union added that pipeline vandalism causes environmental degradation and pollution.
Mr. Achese also called on the government to gather illegal refiners, train them and rehabilitate the legal refineries for them to work in, instead of “chasing them around the creeks and destroying their tools.”
He said that the government should also establish more refineries to reduce fuel importation.
Mr. Achese urged the public and private sectors to provide jobs, build skill acquisition centres and introduce empowerment schemes to enable the citizens to be meaningfully engaged. He called on the National Assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill after objectively looking into issues, such as gratuities, pensions and transfer of workers.
In his remarks, a former NUPENG General Secretary, Frank Kokori, expressed the hope that the review of the union’s constitution would positively affect Nigeria’s development.
Mr. Kokori urged the union to contribute its best to societal development.
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