- NUPENG has chided members of the National Assembly for cuts to critical infrastructure like roads in the 2018 budget
- It expressed shock that critical trunk roads would be expunged from the national budget at a time the union is craving for a state of emergency on Nigerian roads
- The union called on all relevant stakeholders to urgently reconsider all critical areas affecting the oil and gas sector that were jettisoned from the budget
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG) has taken issues with the National Assembly over allegations by the Presidency, that the legislative arm of government cut N11.5 billion from allocations to critical infrastructure like roads in the 2018 budget.
The body made its feelings on the matter known in a statement signed by its president, Prince Williams Akporeha, which was released over the weekend, Vanguard reports.
Legit.ng gathers that the union described the cuts as unreasonable and insensitive to the yearnings of the people. Consequently, it threatened that if nothing is done to remedy the situation to make the nation’s highways motorable, it might be forced to mobilise against the lawmakers.
The statement read in part: “We are still in shock that these critical trunk roads, which play significant roles, particularly in the value chain of the oil and gas downstream sector and other critical and crucial economic activities in the country would be expunged from the national budget at a time the union is craving for a state of emergency on Nigerian roads.
“NUPENG strongly believes that the constitutional direction of a national budget must be patriotically designed to consolidate the achievements of previous budgets to deliver on Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan as envisaged by the current government, which is in the same line of logical, reasonable and responsible thought process that we expect from our federal lawmakers.
“However, the union cannot afford to fold its hands whilst our hardworking and patriotic members’ lives are being carelessly and pitiably wasted on the highways as well as facing unimaginable hazards on the roads, particularly the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) branch of NUPENG, whose main professional calling to the service of our nation is the lifting and distribution of petroleum products across the length and breadth of the nation in order to energize social and economic activities of all Nigerians.
“We hate to always raise concerns over road accidents involving our members as a result of deplorable conditions of nation’s road networks. It is also an open secret that the current nature of our roads is a real contributory factor to tanker accidents which we are experiencing virtually on daily basis.
“Unfortunately, the 2018 Appropriation Act which we thought could save us from this life threatening menace, has again dashed our hope.
“NUPENG is using this medium to call on all relevant stakeholders in government especially the Legislature and the Executive to urgently reconsider all the aforementioned road infrastructure projects as well as other critical areas affecting the oil and gas sector that were flippantly jettisoned from the budget, in the interest of all Nigerians and also for the entrenchment and sustenance of industrial growth and development."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Senator Shehu Sani said President Muhammadu Buhari shouldn't have signed the 2018 budget.
Sani was reacting to complaints by the president that the National Assembly made cuts to the budget, which would affect many capital projects.
The senator representing Kaduna Central senatorial district in the National Assembly, said the president signing the document, was consent.
Naija lawmakers overreact - on Legit.ng TV: