NUPENG to FG: Increasing poverty, hunger may cause social upheaval

NIGERIA Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has decried the high rate of poverty, hunger and suffering in Nigeria, and called on government to urgently find solution to the problems to avoid social upheaval. NUPENG in a communiqué at the end of its National Executive Council, NEC, meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, suggested various ways government could address the problems. In the communiqué by NUPENG President and General Secretary, Igwe Achese and Joseph Ogbebor respectively,  the union also expressed concern over upsurge in the cases of suicide bombings, kidnappings, ritual killings, communal clashes, herdsmen menace, armed robbery and other security threats across the country. According to the communiqué, “The meeting-in-session notes that the state of insecurity is a disincentive to investors, national unity and economic development and should therefore be immediately addressed through adequate use of modern intelligence gathering and technological security infrastructure. The NEC-in-Session further expresses serious concerns over the obvious unhealthy rivalry among the various arms of security agencies in the country as evident in series of missteps on issues of national security and fight against corruption. The Council-in-session calls on President Mohammadu Buhari to immediately overhaul the entire national security apparatus for efficiency and cohesiveness to avoid anarchy. “The current level of poverty, hunger and high rate of unemployment/ disguised employment in the country were of serious concerns to the NEC-in-Council. They were extensively deliberated upon and all the levels of government in Nigeria were called upon to urgently address the ugly and unwholesome situation by opening up the economy, establishing cottage industries, helping small/medium scale businesses, embark on massive agricultural projects, and ease the processes of business set up through access to loans at reasonable rates and tax holidays.” According to the communiqué, “The NEC-in-Council notes with deep worries the emerging stories of apparent disjointed, uncoordinated and blurred war against corruption by the current administration. The police pension scam is a clear case of corruption within the war against corruption, it stinks to high heavens.”