The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has alleged unscrupulous move by state governments, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing officials and desperate politicians to divert the N621 billion earmarked for reconstruction of 21 critical roads across the country.
According to NUPENG, the aforementioned are already dipping their hands into the fund and diverting them to roads already budgeted for and done since last year.
The President of NUPENG, Williams Akporeha, and the General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, stated that the union had stated mobilising its members for the resumption of the suspended strike over the move.
Claiming to have facts and figures to prove its case, NUPENG vowed that it would not be cowed into allowing the N621 billion go same way other budgeted funds had gone.
“Officials of the Ministry of Works and Housing are going around showing pictures of roads done in June and August 2021 to justify payment made from the fund, which was approved in October 2021 for the identified 21 critical roads,” the statement alleged.
The union demanded immediate halt to further release of the fund until a competent monitoring and validation team comprising all stakeholders that signed the communiqué is formed.
It demanded that the pre-award pictures of the 21 roads be taken, and compared with pictures of post-repairs/reconstruction situation.
Noting that the issue is of national concern, the union said it owes its members and the general public the responsibility to ensure that every kobo of the approved fund and taxpayers’ money is accounted for.
The union recalled how the fund came when it issued a firm ultimatum on the deplorable state of the federal highways and the painful experiences of its members while on duty across the country.
The union said the management team of Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) under Mele Kyari immediately arrested the situation then to avert industrial action.
The engagement at the two meetings, the union added, resulted in the signing of a communiqué indicating the readiness of NNPC to finance the rehabilitation of the 21 critical roads at N621 billion through the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme.