PENGASSAN shuts PPPRA headquarters over leadership tussle

…Urges govt to settle for one Acting ES

From Dennis Mernyi, Abuja

The leadership crisis rocking the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), has assumed different dimension as the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) branch of the agency shut down all operations of the office.

The union members who locked up the complex urged management of the agency to meet with government to resolve the issues of who is the authentic acting Executive Secretary of PPPRA instead of allowing two persons to parade as head of the agency thereby creating an environment capable of disrupting the progress of the organisation.

Speaking to newsmen on the position of the union Chairman of PENGASSAN, PPPRA chapter, Victor Ononokpono, expressed concern that in less than one week, PPPRA is having about two acting Executive Secretaries in controversial circumstances of such a sensitive regulatory agency for the critical oil and gas industry.

Aside, he hinted that ‎the appointment of an operator or marketer to head a regulatory agency like PPPRA and what it represents in the industry has for the past years scuttled and frustrated the smooth functioning of the agency.

“The effects of the continued deployment of either a staff from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) or Petroleum Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) to head the PPPRA, which has become the norm in the past years has brought about stagnancy that was not expected of the agency.

“PPPRA is the regulator of the operations and all the businesses in the industry, but tell me how an appointee or the head of PPPRA, a staff of these two government outfits, would have the clout to regulate the operations or businesses in the sector under the headship of his master,” he asked.

“As a matter of fact, PPPRA has lost its independence and voice. It depends on policies drafted by the NNPC management, which is not supposed to be. The headship of PPPRA is too critical to bring someone from the operations or marketing segments of the sector to handle,” he stated.

According to Ononokpono, the unions will continue to shut down activities of the agency until government does the right thing by either remaining with its earlier directives that the sacked Chief Executives should hand over to the next most senior person, which the former ES, Farouk Ahmed, did last week.

According to him, the workers are rather amazed that ‎on Monday, barely one week after Ahmed handed over to Mr. Moses Mbaba, who is the General Manager in charge of Administration and Human Resources, another person from the NNPC came to report and take over still in acting capacity.

He noted that the government was only trying to weaken the activities of the agency for no substantive reason. Some management staff of the agency who were seen loitering around the office premises, however, declined to talk to reporters.

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