Fashola Is NUPENG’S Most Labour Friendly Governor Reviewed by Momizat on . The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola on Thursday received the award of the Most Labour Friendly Governor from the Lagos Zonal Council of the National Uni The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola on Thursday received the award of the Most Labour Friendly Governor from the Lagos Zonal Council of the National Uni Rating:
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Fashola Is NUPENG’S Most Labour Friendly Governor

The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola on Thursday received the award of the Most Labour Friendly Governor from the Lagos Zonal Council of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers Union (NUPENG), saying the State Traffic Law seeks to help the drivers and operators of articulated vehicles do their businesses better.

The Governor who spoke at the Auditorium of the News Agency of Nigeria at the National Theatre, Iganmu added that the law provides that drivers especially commercial drivers must reduce their intake of alcohol especially while at work or behind the wheels as it often impairs their vision and sense of judgement.

He said that it is quite heart-warming now that some of the drivers are now beginning to see reason with the Government on the Traffic Law provision as they do not drink during the day anymore while behind the wheels.

Governor Fashola stressed that the law constitutes one of the self-cleansing legislations aimed at ensuring that the people stay alive, adding that most road accidents are avoidable but are a result of the choices people make as a people.

While assuring the members of NUPENG of his administration’s continued support, he tasked them to realize that some of the old methods of doing things must be changed especially as it affects agitation for better conditions of service adding that historically, labour unions were formed to fight colonialists and military governments.

The Governor noted however that since the exit of the colonialists and the military and the general acknowledgement that labour also participated in enthroning the present democracy the practice of shutting all structures and facilities down should be discarded.

He explained that while the process of strikes are still legitimate instruments for bargaining, it must be the last resort only after everything else has failed because even after every strike and lock downs, the people still return to the negotiation table.

Governor Fashola emphasized that each time labour shuts down the means of production, it leads to production loss which is very inconsistent with what labour preaches about expanding the economy and providing meaningful engagement for the unemployed.

Citing examples from across the world, the Governor said sometimes ago in Europe, doctors went on strike but the emergency services did not and still attended to very sick people, adding that Nigerian labour must design creative ways to press home their demands while not shutting down the system because each time it does everyone loses.

While acceding to the request of the union for the provision of land to build a tankers park, the Governor however expanded the horizon by pointing at an unexplored direction when he asked if lifting fuel through the roads is the best way to go about it.

“If we want to be like other nations, can we continue to do what we like. Why not own tankers that can run on rails, after all the rail alignments from the Apapa Depot to outside the state are still there now”.

The Governor denounced the notion that it would be impossible to reactivate the rail lines, adding that with the presence of Chinese experts who are working on the Lagos Light Rail project they can work on the project and bring it back to life.

“I am willing to give you the land but you must be ready to decide on how sustainable this line of business would be in 30 years’ time. Can your children take over this business in 30 years’ time? Ask yourself”, he added.

He said this explains why after plying the roads with articulated vehicles on working days while doing business, the drivers often find driving very discomforting when driving in their personal cars on Sundays on the same roads because they have damaged the roads with the very heavy cargo that they carry on it.

Governor Fashola said no nation trucks the volume of cargo that passes through Nigerian roads can enjoy smooth rides, emphasizing that the solution lies in putting the cargo on rails.

He said the same fate befalls inner city roads where people even take container laden trucks to and resultantly damage the roads and shorten its lifespan, adding that nothing is fundamentally wrong with most roads including the Lagos-Ibadan Express way except for the damage often caused by the volume of cargo that passes on it.

The Governor said there could be a better way out with rigorous planning and investment change which ensures that the business of transporting oil is very enduring.

He reiterated that with the present situation, several lives are being lost and properties destroyed as tankers are spewing fuel and exploding adding that no one can say precisely who can be the next victim of such misfortune.

He also charged the NUPENG members to design some code of conducts which will guide operations such as prescribing minimum standards of tankers being allowed to load and transport fuel.

The Governor also commended the National President of NUPENG Comrade Igwe Achese for instituting a foundation for young ones, adding that it underscores the fact that the issue of unemployment should be looked at from a positive angle.

The Governor said it is about the gains from the nation’s investment in so many sectors because it would have been virtually impossible to be talking about unemployment now if more people had not gone to school and graduated from what it used to be some 10 or 20 years ago.

He urged all Nigerians to be positive about the issue of unemployment because what should be the preoccupation now is about spending time to find solutions to it.

The Governor commended the partnership that has developed between the government and NUPENG despite the difficult environment that both operate in saying it means when people are willing to see possibilities instead of problems a lot can happen.

The President of NUPENG, Comrade Igwe Achese in his address described Governor Babatunde Fashola as one of his mentors, adding that he is a comrade Governor that is working for the people.

He said the members of NUPENG loves and appreciates the Governor of Lagos State for also being a Labour friendly Governor who has not retrenched any worker since he came to office.

He said anytime members of the union go on strike it is not to undermine government but a measure that is meant to get the attention of the government.

The Lagos Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Tokunboh Korodo in his address also paid glowing tributes to Governor Babatunde Fashola for his labour friendly initiatives and being a friend and supporter of NUPENG.

The Governor was later presented with an award as the Most Labour Friendly Governor by the National President of NUPENG, Mr Achese and was assisted by others members of NUPENG.

Prominent among those who accompanied the Governor to the well attended event were the State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa and his Energy and Mineral Resources counterpart, Engineer Taofik Tijani.

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