By Ikenna Omeje
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that all relevant agencies are compelled to implement the Executive Order No.5.
In a proclamation entitled “Presidential Executive Order for Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts and Science, Engineering and Technology,’’ President Muhammadu Buhari, had on February 2, 2018, pursuant to the authority vested in him by the Constitution, signed the Executive Order No. 5 (“EO5”) by which all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government were directed to engage indigenous professionals in the planning, design and execution of national security projects and maximise in-country capacity in all contracts and transactions with science, engineering and technology components.
In a statement signed by the National President of NUPENG, Comrade Williams Akporeha, on Sunday, the union appreciated the President for the step he took, saying that proper implementation of the Order will promote value creation in the country.
“While we give kudos to Mr. President for starting his second term on a good footing in tandem with his ‘Next Level’ mantra, he should however not hesitate to ensure all relevant agencies are compelled to implement to the letter the new Executive Order without any form of delay and hindrance so as to foster value creation and addition in the Nigerian human capital development and utilization for material resources and services,” the Union noted.
NUPENG also commended President Buhari for preventing the Ministry of Interior by the Order from issuing visas to foreign workers that have skills that are readily available in the country, but only to those that possess expertise that are not available in Nigeria , where it is proven.
The Union said, “We make bold to salute the courage and patriotism of Mr. President for prohibiting the Ministry of Interior in the Executive Order, from giving visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria; and that where expertise is lacking, procuring entities will give preference to foreign companies and firms with a demonstrable and verifiable plan for indigenous development, prior to the award of such contracts.
“It is indeed worthwhile to see this laudable presidential directive recommending that consideration shall only be given to a foreign professional, where it is certified by the appropriate authority that such expertise is not available in Nigeria. With no shred of doubt, this is new dawn for Nigerian workers.”
NUPENG harped on the need for the President to ensure that the application of the Local Content Law should be strictly focused on creation of decent permanent jobs for Nigerian workers.
The Union decried the prevalence of casual jobs in the country, especially in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry and expressed disappointment over the inability of the country to achieve the goal of setting up the Nigeria Content Development and Management Board, in spite of all the expectation that the country had.
NUPENG blamed the increasing rate of cultism, killings, kidnapping, suicide attempt, armed banditry, advance-fee fraud, prostitution, and other social vices bedeviling the country among the youth on frustration, because of “the failure of institutions and agencies that are responsible for the creation, protection and sustenance of jobs for the Nigerian youths.”
“NUPENG as a key stakeholder in the Oil and Gas industry whose members have suffered varying infractions from the hands of different multinational companies as a result of infringement on the local content laws have good reasons to express profound gratitude to a government that obviously demonstrated firm sensitivity and responsiveness to the plight of its citizenry and ready to bring succour, particularly to our members who have experienced neglect from successive administrations under whose watch workers went through harrowing socio-economic and psychological torture with no respite,” the statement added.