The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has urged the Federal Government to expedite the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery. The union expressed frustration over the repeated delays in the refinery’s reopening.

Speaking at a special delegates conference of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) of NUPENG in Lagos, NUPENG’s National President, Comrade William Akporeha, emphasized the importance of timely commencement of the refinery’s operations. The government had assured the union that the refinery would be operational by the end of the month.

“We are eagerly awaiting the Port Harcourt Refinery to come on stream. We wish to call on the government to ensure that the old Port Harcourt Refinery starts production by the end of July as promised,” Akporeha stated. He also stressed the need for the government to address the poor state of roads across the nation to facilitate the smooth distribution of petroleum products.

Akporeha praised the successful outcome of the union’s recent election, highlighting that NUPENG and PTD remain united without any internal divisions. He encouraged the newly elected officers to remain dedicated to their roles within the union.

“There is no faction in PTD; all of us are one. We are one with NUPENG. NUPENG has shown to the world that NUPENG and PTD are one. There is no division,” he declared.

The election saw Comrade Augustine Egbon emerge as the national chairman of the junior workers’ union in the downstream oil sector, with his opponent, Lucky Osesua, abstaining from the election. Egbon expressed gratitude to stakeholders for ensuring a smooth election process and reaffirmed the PTD’s commitment to maintaining its relationship with its umbrella body.

“I give thanks to God Almighty for making this election possible for us again. I thank the security personnel for ensuring adequate security. I thank our leaders in NUPENG, who did all that was necessary to guarantee a smooth election,” Egbon said.

The election was conducted under the supervision of Comrade Solomon Kilanko, chairman of the Electoral Committee, in accordance with the judgment of the National Industrial Court (NIC) in Abuja. Kilanko confirmed that the election process adhered to the NIC’s directives, ensuring inclusivity and non-discrimination.

“The judgment also demands that the election should be all-inclusive and non-discriminatory. To this end, the Electoral Committee notified members that no one is barred from participating, and the list of delegates that are eligible is still the same list that was used for the October 31, 2023 election in Ibadan to ensure that those suspended after the election are allowed to participate,” Kilanko explained.

The newly elected officers include Comrade Oluchi Chinagorom from the Port Harcourt zone as National Secretary, and comrades Lawan Garba, Mathias Ote, Dauda Olabisi, and Olaolu Akinmuyise as National Vice Chairmen for the Kaduna, Warri, Lagos, and Port Harcourt zones, respectively. Comrades Malut Abubakar and Odinakachi Nwafor were elected as First Deputy National Chairman and Second Deputy National Chairman.

This election followed a directive from Justice O. Y. Anuwe of the NIC in Abuja, who annulled the previous election held in Ibadan last October and ordered a new national delegates’ conference within four months, with adherence to the NUPENG Constitution and PTD by-laws.

The election was monitored by Mr. Amos Falonipe, Registrar of the Trade Union of Nigeria (TUN), and Mr. Segun Arowolo from the Legal Department of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, resulting in the emergence of 16 national officers.

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