ACCEPTANCE SPEECH OF COMRADE PRINCE WILLIAMS AKPOREHA, THE NEWLY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF NUPENG, ON FRIDAY, 6TH APRIL 2018, AT OBI-WALI INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE, PORT HARCOURT, RIVERS STATE .
GREAT NUPENG MEMBERS!!! GREAT
GREAT NUPENG MEMBERS!!!!! GR E E A A A T
GREAT NUPENG MEMBERS!!! GREAT
GREAT NUPENG MEMBERS!!!!! GR E E A A A T
It is indeed a great honour to be elected as President of the most powerful union in sub-Saharan Africa, our dear NUPENG, The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers
I accept this mandate by first of all acknowledging Almighty God, who is the ultimate Giver of this mandate. All praises and adoration must be given to BABA GOD.
I am deeply humbled and moved by your overwhelming support and approval. And I thank you all for placing your trust and confidence in my abilities to lead this union to the next level. I sincerely accept this position with profound humility and deep appreciation.
Great Comrades, I am very pleased to announce to you that you have chosen wisely by bringing on board highly committed, dedicated, productive, resilient and tactful crops of executives that have the capacity and the zeal to defend and promote rights and privileges of our members in their quest for better working conditions of service in line with international best practices.
Today, I see myself being given a mandate not as a boss but as a lead servant,
I see it as a mandate for greater unity in NUPENG!!!!
I see it as a mandate for greater solidarity among members!!!
I see it as a mandate for financial prudency and prosperity in NUPENG!!!
IS THIS THE MANDATE COMRADES??
I ask again, IS THAT THE MANDATE????
In my resolve to achieve all the above, I assure you that I will leave no stone unturned and therefore may step on toes, big or small toes, but please note, it will not be to hurt anyone but for greater NUPENG.
I have been in this union for more than twenty years and in the course of these years, I have served in many capacities and positions under different leaders and I have seen the union grow from strength to strength to strength and it is my assurance that this regime will not do less.
Please permit me at this juncture, to salute Comrade Dr Igwe Achese, my predecessor and benefactor, a friend and a brother. I salute you sir. You impacted my life so positively that I will never forget you. NUPENG will never forget you, for your legacies will live forever. You are a man of integrity, vision and purpose, I strongly hold you in high esteem sir. Serving under you was like a training school and in truth I learnt so much from your leadership acumen.
Without any iota of doubt the regime of Comrade Igwe Achese executed so many tremendous and adorable projects and initiatives. Indeed you are an inspiration and a challenge to us to continue with these great works that you began. I am so confident, that with this team that is coming on board today, we shall keep the flag flying higher and make you proud.
Looking at the report card of our predecessor, the great expectation of our teaming members today, is for the incoming leadership to take the union to the NEXT LEVEL. This great expectation is very clear to our team and that is the reason why we aptly call ourselves, “NEXT LEVEL TEAM”.
In the words of the famous political philosopher and immediate past president of America, President Barack Obama, he says and I quote:
“This victory alone is not the change we seek; it is only the chance for us to make that change” we should all work together to make the changes we desire possible. It is only through your collective cooperation and collaboration that we can successfully steer the ship of this union to the desire destination.
Dear esteemed Comrades, you are all aware that we are coming on board at this critical time when our industry is facing two critical challenges of changes and reforms. One of these challenges is the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill that has just been harmonized and passed by the two national assemblies. There is no doubt the passage of the bill is long overdue but nevertheless, the implementation of this Act must not be allowed to impact negatively on job security workers in the industry.
The second challenge relates to the theme of this national delegates conference. Globalization has created series of challenges to the global working class. The new dimension of these challenges is the replacement of Man at work with machine. The race between Man and Machine has left workers with the wrong side of the baton with redundancies being served on our plates every now and then. Union membership has been seriously depleted due to the impact of Industry 4.0.
It is within this context, that we commend President Mohammadu Buhari on his “Nigeria First initiative” on job recruitment order. This we believe will go a long way in halting the expanding and increasing unemployment level of qualified youths in the country.
Notwithstanding all the above challenges, I stand here to give you my assurance that we will use all resources at our disposal, both human and materials to defend the job interest of all our members. We shall protect our collective interest with our collective resources in line with extant rules.
Be assured of the fact also, that we shall show more commitment and seriousness in the vision of taking the union to next level by building on stability and unity of the union as well as ensuring a stable financial base through prudency, frugality, transparency and accountability.
We will also vigorously embark on tactful and strategic unionization of workers in the formal and informal sectors of the oil and gas industry into NUPENG. This new approach to unionization will include careful and objective recruitment of Organisers, indept research work, creation and consistent maintenance of efficient and effective collaborative Union-Management relationship.
May I also use this medium to state that, we are conscious of the fact that there are some great minds amongst us that sacrificed their ambitions for one position or the other for the sake of peace and unity of our union . There is no doubt in the fact that the elective positions are limited in number and cannot go round every interested individual. We appreciate you all and assured all and sundry that this administration will be an all inclusive and all embracing one, We shall definitely make use of your wisdom, knowledge, skills and expertise as we all work together to take our union to the next level.
It is very imperative for me at this juncture to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of our elders and veterans to the great strides, peace and unity of the union. We thank God for sparing your lives and blessing you with good health and great wisdom to intervene in our union’s matters and issues at critical times. We pledge to keep in very close touch and relationship with our elders and veterans.
We appreciate these wonderful veterans of our time, who have done us proud in various ways, ranging from our founding fathers, Comrade John Jonas Dubre, erudite and irrepressible Chief Frank Ovie Iranola Kokori, ever indefatigable and quintessential Hon. (Comrade) Joseph Akinlaja, articulate and vibrant Hon. (Comrade) Peter Akpatason, Comrade B.B Awe, other past great leaders.
On this note and finally, I crave your indulgence, ladies and gentlemen to bring back to our memories the profound and salient words of the late legendary reggae icon, Bob Marley. He said and I quote:
“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively”
These words of wisdom shall be our compass and with courage and strong conviction, our regime shall strive to affect everyone around us positively.
On this note and with utmost sense of modesty and love, I wish to use this opportunity to thank my beloved wife and my wonderful children for their encouragement, love and prayers in the course of our various struggles. I am proud of you all.
I wish to also thank everyone that has in one way or the other contributed towards the realization of today. Our joy and love will not be short lived.
Thank you all for your listening ears.
Eil SEELETO !! Eil!! AFRICA!!!!
Long Live NUPENG!!!!!
Long Live United Labour Congress!!!!!
Long Live Nigeria!!!!!!!