Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has called on labour leaders across Nigeria to raise their voices in defence of defence of democracy in the face of the atrocious system of governance being implemented by the APC Federal Government.

Addressing the 4th Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) in Port Harcourt on Friday, Governor Wike said that the ship of state is now on a wrong direction, while the nation’s economy remains fragile and democracy, wobbly.

“As I have always said, our ship of State is on a wrong direction. And just as our economy remains fragile so is the nation’s democracy wobbling. If things continue this way, then we may never experience true democracy and good governance in our lifetime”.

He also said Nigerian Labour leaders can no longer stand aloof while the All Progressive Congress, APC, Federal Government destroys the fabric of governance.

He said: “As patriots and concerned Nigerians, we must all break our silence and protest against the atrocious and brutal system of the Federal Government that daily undermines our rights to democracy, the rule of law and good governance.

“Nigerians want you and I to stand up and raise our voices for unity, for security, for justice, for the rule of law, for democracy and for free and fair elections in 2019.”.

On the theme of the conference, “Impact of Technology (Industry 4.0) on Industrial Relations in the Workplace,” Governor Wike said technology is vital for faster development of the oil and gas industry, but noted that employers and labour leaders must find the right balance.

“The fact that the impact of technology may upset labour – employer relations makes the management of technological change in the workplace one of the most challenging problems in industrial relations.

“The challenge before this conference is to find suitable solutions that can be adopted to safeguard industrial harmony and prevent the undue disruptions and dislocations in industrial relations that often result from the impact of technology in the workplace”, he said.

Outgoing President of NUPENG, Comrade Igwe Achese said that technology remains critical to the development of the oil and gas industry.

He, however, noted that NUPENG will be in the forefront in the protection of the rights of the workers.

Comrade Igwe Achese decried the casualization of workers in the Oil and Gas industry, noting that steps must be taken to address the issue.

He commended the Rivers State Governor for his outstanding developmental strides, saying that his projects have changed the landscape of the state.

In a goodwill message, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, represented by the Member Representing Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency, Hon Kingsley Chinda assured that the House will consider the bill to end casualization in the oil and gas industry.

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