Lagos – Oil workers under the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have condemned the whopping N11.5 billion cut by the National Assembly (NASS) from the proposed allocations in the 2018 national budget.
The workers stated on Sunday that cutting from allocations meant for crucial and very critical projects with huge socio-economic impact like the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, second Niger bridge, ancillary roads, East-West road, Bonny-Bodo road and others was unreasonable and insensitive to the needs of Nigerians the parliamentarians were supposed to represent.
The union added that the ill-informed decisions had the potential of impacting negatively on the nation’s economic recovery plans.
“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 state of emergency on Nigerian roads,” the union said in a statement signed by Williams Akporeha, its president.
NUPENG said the constitutional direction of a national budget must be patriotically designed to consolidate the achievements of previous budgets, so as to deliver on Nigeria’s economic recovery and growth plan.
The union added that it could not afford to fold its arms “while 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 energise 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.”.
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