TUC 1Frontline labour union, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has described the falling crude oil prices in the international market as a blessing in disguise for Nigeria.

TUC in a 12-point 2016 new year message made available to theeconomyng.com, declared that the oil price crash does not portend an ill-wind as many sees it but also presents opportunity for government to adopt cost-cutting measures and work towards a better Nigeria.

“We are of the considered view that the falling crude oil price provides a good opportunity for government at all levels to block all leakages in the system such as corruption, inefficiency, oil theft and the huge cost of governance in Nigeria”, the communique read in parts.

The union argues that the amount of money lost to corruption and inefficiency in Nigeria was more than 40 percent of the annual budget.

“Also, the amount of money lost to oil theft and pipeline vandalism (sic) is humongous. By government’s own admission (which is very conservative) about 10 percent of Nigeria’s total crude oil production of about 2.5 million barrels per day is stolen.This is almost two and a half times the total production of our neighbour, Ghana,” it stressed.

TUC 2“This period of falling oil price should therefore be an opportunity for government at all levels to truly fight corruption, reduce the inefficiencies in its operations, pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law and stop the brazen stealing of Nigeria’s crude oil”, it stressed, urging Federal Government to engage key stakeholders, including the labour movement, as a measure towards finding credible solutions to the current energy crises.

According to it, such credible solutions must be anchored on growing the local refining capacity such that within the next five years Nigeria would meet locally all her domestic demand for refined petroleum products and commence export within the next seven years.

By Olisemeka Obeche

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