Wednesday, July 30, 2014 7:15 pm
Lagos – The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) Wednesday, said it was in support of the Federal Government’s proposed $1 billion loan to fight terrorism in the country.
The union’s Secretary, Mr Isaac Aberare tspeaking with agency correspondent in Lagos said that NUPENG would fully support any move that could help to stamp out the ongoing insurgency.
He added that no amount was too much to spend to restore law and order and urged the National Assembly not to hesitate to approve the loan.
“It is a serious concern to every right thinking Nigerian. What is happening in the up North is not acceptable to us.
“And we will not like it to escalate to the hinterlands, to the South-South, South-East or South-West.
“We want to support the Federal Government to take whatever initiatives, whatever strategy it deems fit, to nip whatever is happening now in the bud; we are totally in support of it.
“So, the $1 billion he’s (President) requesting to procure arms to fight the insurgency, we are in support of it, if that will make us to fight and win the war and bring our girls back home.
“We are in support of whatever amount that can be spent to make sure we have peace in the country.
The NUPENG chief noted that insurgency was a by-product of unemployment and hardship, and urged the government to create jobs for the idle youth.
“The issue of insurgency has element of unemployment, the idle mind is a devil’s workshop.
“They (government) should create labour-intensive organisations/companies that can employ as many people as possible and remove this large chunk of people from being idle.
“If everybody is working and being paid, he is putting food on his table; he won’t go and carry gun and say he is a member of Boko Haram.
“Let them (government) support this group of people, create more jobs, and let more people have something doing to put food on their table.
“If that is done many minds will not be thinking of going into crime.”
“Aberare also urged both public and private organisations to desist from breaching agreements reached with workers to prevent crisis between them and the labour unions.
He advised the regulatory agencies of government to be alive to their responsibilities and to ensure that grievances did not escalate into crisis before they were resolved.
Criticism trailed the President’s $1billion loan proposal for the purchase of military hardware to strengthen the fight against Boko Haram as many see it as another good excuse to drain the national coffers.