Friday, 13 January 2012

Subsidy: PENGASSAN directs members to shut productions Sunday, if Goodluck fails to reduce petroleum price to 65 naira

LEADERS of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, Thursday, directed oil workers in the upstream sector to shut down all operations in the sector including export terminals by Sunday should the government refused to revert the pump price of petrol to N65 per litre as demanded by Nigerians.

At a briefing in Lagos, leaders of PENGASSAN said though it was painful for the association to take this option because of the colossus loss and severe implications the shut-down would cost the nation, but members had no other choice.
President of PENGASSAN, Comrade Babatunde Ogun, told journalists that among other implications of the planned shut down, Nigeria would default in its contractual obligations to international community as there would be no crude and gas supplies, meaning it would incur damages.

According to him, it would cripple telecommunication, power and healthcare delivery to Nigerians and whenever the strike is called off, Nigeria would not meet its crude production quota for at least in the next six months, and some of the rigs would also take not less than six months to come back on stream.

He lamented that the government had become deaf to the pains and cries of the people and their members in the upstream were already short of basic needs, saying: “There is no emergency attention for our members that are working on the field who have ran out of food, medical facilities and other emergency measures.”
Comrade Ogun argued that the association had even advised the government to borrow money to put basic facilities in place for Nigerians before the subsidy removal and the money could be paid back after, stressing that all the conditions given to government, none had been addressed.
According to him, “PENGASSAN salutes all her members, patriotic Nigerians and interest groups that have been supportive of the on- going struggle against the recent hike in pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS).

PENGASSAN remains committed to the ongoing popular and nationwide protests, and will continue to work with every concerned Nigerian group to sustain the struggle until government respects the sovereign will of the Nigerian people. The resolution of the House of Representatives and the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria say it all by upholding people’s legitimacy. All PENGASSAN members and branches have been actively playing strategic role in strengthening the ongoing protest, and will remain committed to the struggle until federal government led by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan respects the collective resolve of Nigerians. All branches of PENGASSAN in the downstream, refineries and upstream sectors of the industry have been and shall remain fully mobilized in the actualization of NLC/TUC directives on the on-going strike actions.”

Niger Delta group dismisses threat

Meanwhile, a Niger Delta-based group, the United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy, UNDEDSS, has dismissed threat by PENGASSAN to shut down oil installations should President Goodluck Jonathan fails to revert the pump price of petrol to N65.
In a statement, yesterday, by its secretary, Mr Tony Uranata, the group said: “Everybody has forgotten that the Niger Delta owns the oil that pays the subsidy that has been removed. Nobody should threaten to shut down what does not belong to him. If we of the region realise that people do not need the oil anymore, we shall shut down Nigeria’s access to it!”


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