Mohammed Shosanya and Chidi Ugwu
Lagos /Abuja – The Federal Government has assured Nigerian workers that it had no plans or agenda to sell any of the nation’s refineries or the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Federal Government said anybody who was nursing plans to sell the assets does not have the interest of Nigerian workers at heart.
Speaking at the 12th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of the NLC in Abuja, on Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said government was determined to attain the decent work agenda, which involves opportunities for workers, saying it will deliver a fair income, security at work places, and social protection for families.
“I want to reassure you of the commitment of this administration to the issue of welfare of workers. This is evidence of numerous programmes and policies that have been initiated by this administration in promoting the interest of the wellbeing of our workforce.
“Meanwhile, the administration is committed to addressing other labour issues that are still pending,” Mustapha said.
In the meantime, the NLC has called for reversal of the power sector privatisation due to what it called chronic failures by the distribution companies (DisCos) to deliver quality power supply to Nigerians.
National President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said: “Since the privatisation of electricity distribution, Nigerians are yet to see the fulfilment of promises of efficient service delivery.
“Instead, the electricity situation has gone worse with chronic failures by DisCos to supply prepaid meters, exploitation of Nigerians through estimated billings and reluctance to attend to basic complaints.
“Even with N39 billion bailout funds from government, the supposed private entrepreneurs have failed to turn anything around except, maybe, their pockets, unfortunately, at the expense of Nigerians. This must stop.
“We call on government to reverse the power sector privatisation because it has failed.
“Privatisation of public utilities has not generally proven to be the correct thing to do in most countries, even developed ones, according to a study released by Public Services International.”
He urged the Federal Government to resuscitate Nigeria’s ailing refineries in order to liberate the downstream sector.
Malabu: JPMorgan Asks UK Court To Stop $875m FG’s Suit
In another development, JPMorgan Chase & Co. on Tuesday asked a London court to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Nigerian government that accuses the bank of failing to prevent $875 million in corrupt payments.
The global company insists it got the correct approvals from Nigerian officials before transferring the funds to accounts controlled by a former oil minister, Dan Etete, who has been convicted of money laundering, and that the government’s claim has no real prospect of success.
The Federal Government had last year filed a claim against JPMorgan Chase for more than $875 million, accusing it of negligence in transferring funds from a disputed 2011 oilfield deal to a company controlled by the former oil minister.