Okon Bassey in Uyo
Former deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Engr. Chris Ekpenyong on Saturday said the strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) was to enable the union fight against deregulation of the oil sector.
According to Ekpenyong, “What the NLC is trying to do is to encourage the sustainability of the fraud by the cabal in the oil sector. The federal government should be encouraged holistically to reform the sector because the proceeds will be injected into diversifying the economy into agriculture, solid mineral and industrialization.
“The deregulation of the downstream of the oil sector, if properly implemented would reinvent Nigeria along the path of economic recovery.”
He said several years of corruption by the “the oil cabal”, has combined with other criminal factors to cripple the economy of Nigeria and commended President Muhammadu Buhari, for taking a bold step to correct inherent anomalies in the sector.
Ekpenyong said implementation of the deregulation policy should follow the due process of transparency saying issuing of licenses for oil importation should not be politicized, but should be open to all, including new comers.
He said the present hardship being faced by Nigerians in the face of the ongoing reforms would ease when all hands are on the deck to fix the sector. “We should help the government to make the refineries work,” adding that modular refineries should also be created to operate side by side with existing refineries.
“There are so much we can get by refining our crude locally here in Nigeria”, Ekpenyong said, pointing out that the multiplier effects of refining crude in Nigeria would galvanise other sectors of the nation’s economy to thrive.
“If we allow subsidy to be retained, the proceeds are only shared among a few cabal; the wealth of Nigeria should not be allowed to concentrate in the hands of a few cabal, who thought they can only create jobs with Nigerian money.”