Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has advised labour unions to use strike as the last option in trade disputes to stem the tide of development challenges witnessed as a result of the frequency of strikes.
Governor Wike also declared that the state government will collaborate with NUPENG as it develops a Tankers Village at Eleme with a view to taking tankers off the highways and generating revenue.
Addressing the National Administrative Council of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) led by its President, Comrade Igwe Aches at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Thursday, Governor Wike said he believes that workers should be allowed to unionise so that companies and organisations will be encouraged to always consider their welfare.
He said: “I believe that strikes should serve as a last option for unions during trade disputes. The strikes in Nigeria are getting too many and efforts should be targeted at reducing them.”
He appreciated the leaders of NUPENG for calling off their strike following his intervention, noting that the state government has already called on oil companies to reciprocate by recalling the sacked workers.
The governor urged unions to always work towards the development of money spinning ventures, to reduce their dependence on check off dues for survival.
While expressing happiness that NUPENG is developing a tankers village/Tank farm in Rivers State, he directed the State Commissioner for Energy and the Special Adviser on Lands to work with the union to bring the project to fruition and ensure the release of certificate of occupancy for the project site.
He assured that the state government is working with relevant security agencies to ensure that Rivers State remains safe for investors. He noted that strategies have been put in place to root out criminals from the state.
Governor Wike, however, said that the state will work out amnesty for criminals and cultists who lay down their arms and embrace peace.
Earlier, President of NUPENG, Comrade Igwe Aches commended the governor for his development strides in the areas of infrastructure and welfare of workers.
He thanked the governor for intervening in the conflict between unions and oil companies in the state over the sack of their members.
Comrade Aches informed the governor of the tank farm being constructed by NUPENG at Eleme. He appealed to the Governor to facilitate the release of the certificate of occupancy for the project site.