TUC lauds agenda to tackle oil pollution in Ogoniland, new NNPC management, others
THE Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has commended plans by the Federal Government to clean-up oil-pollution at Ogoniland and resuscitate Nigeria’s national carrier. The union in a statement also commended the appointment of new Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and sack of some of the Corporation’s executive directors, adding that the Congress “views these moves as steps in the right direction”.
In a statement signed by TUC President, Bobboi Bala Kaigama, and Secretary General, Musa Lawal, the union advised the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to expedite action on the “mentioned areas and other items on its developmental agenda, because time is not on the government’s side”.
According to the statement, successive governments’ insensitivity to the plight of the people is the major cause of most unrests and insurgencies in the land, “The Niger Delta agitation, for instance, started as a result of failure to address the grievances of the people, which include the destruction of their farmlands by oil spillage, gas flaring, among others.” The labour chiefs noted that the initiative to clean up Ogoniland will help give a sense of belonging to the Niger Delta people.
“Our country, being one with a mono-economy, cannot afford to neglect the goose that lays the golden egg. The present administration should go ahead and also diversify the economy, revive other sectors as it has planned to do in the aviation industry through the reintroduction of the national carrier, and fight corruption to a stand-still.”
On the NNPC, the statement added: “The war against corruption should be comprehensive, lest it be viewed as mere witch-hunting. While we applaud the sanitisation that has commenced at the NNPC, we also insist that it be extended to the ministries and other agencies of government. There is no patriotic Nigerian who is not bothered by the administrative and financial anomalies we have encouraged and accommodated as a nation.”
The union explained that move to revive the national carrier is a welcome development, noting that its a shame for Nigeria, a nation with a population of over 170 million people, “not to have a national carrier at a time when smaller nations like Ethiopia operate airlines that are major sources of prestige and foreign exchange to them”.
The statement further noted that British Airways and other foreign airlines earn substantial revenue from flying Nigeria’s airspace, taking advantage of the large vacuum created by the ineptitude of our leaders over the years. “Apart from the thousands of Nigerians who go on medical tourism to Britain and other foreign nations, good percentage of the millions of Nigerians who live in those nations come home at least twice yearly aboard their airlines”.
The statement charged President Buhari to remain focused on revamping the nation’s economy, and cautioned that organised labour is poised to contend with any person or group that tries to hinder any positive initiative of the government.
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