Saturday, May 19, 2012


Sometimes, when you read the speeches of our public officials, you wish they should be taking courses or lectures in public speaking and communication. While reading some articles on the online edition of The Daily Times of Nigeria, I thought the words of Folorunso Oginni, the Chairman of The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), does not augur well for millions of Nigerians who desire to portray a positive image of the country.

Words coated with much innuendos.

A snippet: “Nigeria has not recorded much investment in the oil sector because there is no law governing operations of the country’s petroleum industry.” In other words, what he means is that, if there is a law governing operations of the country’s petroleum industry, then Nigeria will record much investment in the oil sector.

Some of the consequences of those words are that: The operations of the country’s petroleum industry are carried out within an illegal framework. An illegal framework signifies lawlessness and with lawlessness, the Government would be raising dust because power has been taken from her.

What he must have meant.

No one likes to be a foreteller but I believe I understand what he wanted to say. What Folorunso Oginni must have meant is that the laws in force in the Oil industry possess so many loopholes that it encourages illegality which would scare foreign investors. Therefore, what he needs or wants are reforms of those laws.

Do failing oil companies cause crime?

The second snippet: “Most of the oil servicing companies we have here are not working and because they are not working, they have laid off their staff and this has increased the crime rate in the country.” Even though the casual reader would be interested in issues such as this, why are those companies not working? Is it because they cannot compete or they cannot break even? Also, do they need subsidies from the Government to survive or do we allow them to die? What are the consequences? Let’s stick to what I didn’t like about those statements.

Folorunso is insinuating here, and distastefully, that when workers are laid off from work, the only option left is to take to crime. I am unemployed for several years, but criminality has never been considered as an option for a source of revenue. Has it been for you? It tends to breach the limits of taste and careful speech.

What he does not realize.

Folorunso Oginni should realize, as I must believe he does, that although the unemployment rate in the country is very high (about 23%) but there are so many law abiding Nigerians walking the streets. That even if indigenous companies in the country cannot compete in the industry, the system has a way of absorbing these staff that have been laid off into other industries. Point of correction!

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