The leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has faulted the N11.5 billion infrastructure vote cut in the 2018 budget by the National Assembly. The oil workers argued that the action portends a negative socio-economic impact on national and regional road projects like the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the second Niger Bridge, the East-West road as well as Bonny-Bodo highway, among others.
The move, the union said, “is unreasonable and insensitive to the yearnings of the people the parliamentarians claim to represent,” adding that singular decision was capable of impacting negatively on the nation’s economic recovery plans.
In a statement yesterday in Lagos, NUPENG President, Comrade Williams Akporeha, regretted that the trunk roads, which . significant role in the value chain of the oil and gas downstream sector and other crucial economic activities in the country, were expunged from the national budget at a time the union was calling for declaration of state of emergency on Nigerian roads.He called on the relevant stakeholders and authorities to urgently reconsider the decision in the interest of the suffering masses and the overall development of the nation.
According to them, “they cannot afford to fold their hands while the lives of the hardworking and patriotic members of the society are being carelessly and pitiably wasted on the highways.
“We hate to always raise concerns over road accidents involving our members as a result of deplorable condition of the nation’s road network. It is also an open secret that the current state of our roads is a real contributory factor to tanker accidents which we are experiencing virtually on a daily basis.”
Akporeha added: “Unfortunately the 2018 Appropriation Act that we thought could save us from this life-threatening menace has again dashed our hope. “NUPENG strongly believes that the constitutional direction of a national budget must be patriotically designed to consolidate the achievements of . budgets so as to deliver on Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan as envisaged by the current government which is the same line of logical, reasonable and responsible thought process that we expect from our federal lawmakers.”