Port Harcourt — The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN has clarified that the union was not against fuel subsidy removal, but that the government must provide alternative by ensuring that the nation’s four refineries are functional.
Newly elected Chairman of PENGASSAN, Port Harcourt Zone, Comrade George Nwoko, disclosed this to newsmen shortly after the conclusion of the union’s 7th Triennial Delegate Conference held in Port Harcourt.
Nwoko emerged the new PENGASSAN Chairman with 93 votes against the incumbent chairman, Peter Onita who got 81 votes, while the new Vice Chairman, Newton Ichipi emerged unopposed as Olutayo Akande emerged the new Industrial Relations Officer with 103 votes against Tony Osi who got 68 votes.
Fielding questions from newsmen, the new PENGASSAN Chairman warned that removing petrol subsidy without a proper alternative will lead to hyperinflation in the country, adding that the government must make known where the subsidy funds will be channeled.
“We are not against fuel subsidy removal, but we need to know what the government is doing in providing alternative by fixing the refineries before removing the subsidy.
“Do you know what will be the impact of the subsidy removal on the masses without fixing the refineries? It has been the stand of the union that before subsidy is removed, the refineries should be working.
“We also need to know where the subsidy funds will be channeled to. The union need to know which areas the government will apply the subsidy money to.
“Removing fuel subsidy without proper alternative, will lead to inflation in the price of goods and services and the masses will be the ones to bear the brunt. So, we as a union we are not only for the welfare of our members, but we will also support good policies that will enhance the welfare of the masses.”
The newly elected executives of PENGASSAN, Port Harcourt Zone for the next three years are, George Nwoko, Chairman; Newton Ichipi, Vice Chairman; Nnanna Okeke, Secretary; Lukas Emmanuel, Public Relations Officer.
Others are, Olutayo Akande, Industrial Relations Officer; Oscar Shuaibu, Financial Secretary; Rex Orji, Treasurer; Ugochukwu Onyeador, Assistant Secretary; Joy Nwanosike, Women in PENGASSAN, and Fidelis Udoka, Auditor.
Speaking on the election, Nwoko assured that the new executive of PENGASSAN, Port Harcourt Zone, under his leadership will abide by the union’s constitution, improve members welfare and also ensure that their jobs are secured.
“My team and I are grateful for the mandate given to us. We will ensure that we carry on with the core mandate of the union which is to secure the job of members and improve their welfare.
“We will strictly abide by the constitution of PENGASSAN, we will collaborate with all the stakeholders to ensure that government policies are favourable to the members of the union in all the nine states covered by our zone.”