The National leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has urged President Muhammad Buhari to intervene in the feud between the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, and Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, for the benefit of the petroleum industry, saying “both Dr. Kachikwu and Dr. Baru have done well in re-positioning the oil and gas industry and the infighting will only retard the gains made so far”.
This development is coming only days after NUPENG’s leadership joined the leadership of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) in a solidarity visit to Baru in the wake of Kachikwu’s leaked memo.
Praising Kachikwu alongside Baru in this latest move may be the product of greater reflection amidst concerns that picking sides may only further deepen the crisis and hamper the fortunes of the industry.
In its statement signed by its President and General Secretary, Igwe Achese and Joseph Ogbebor, NUPENG said, “The union is worried about the bad image internationally the alleged actions have given us, especially in the media. Due process must be followed in the discharge of contractual agreements and those involving JVC agreements.
“We however, appreciate the steps taken so far in the JVC cash calls to the International Oil Companies, IOC, to stabilize the operations in the sector and the re-opening of moribund depots which have enhanced products delivery across the country, but that the current allegations must be addressed by the administration as one of its cardinal principle is the promotion of transparency and accountability.
“Our expectation is to see us as a hydrocarbon nation, stop importation of petroleum products and make our refineries work optimally so as to boast our foreign exchange earnings. Our NNPC 21 depots should be made to come back on stream and our pipelines secured with new trunk lines built across the country. We believe this can create economic stability and can only be achieved where the Minister of Petroleum, Mr. President, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources and the GMD of NNPC are working in synergy.
“However, NUPENG reiterates that both Dr. Kachikwu and Dr. Baru have done well in re-positioning the oil and gas industry and the infighting will only retard the gains made so far.
“We call on President Muhammed Buhari to resolve the issues by moving in swiftly to address whatever is causing the ill-affection that has made them to work at cross-purposes in order not to jeopardize the reforms in the Oil and Gas industry”.
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