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Nigerian Politics

Energy expert urges Tinubu to wade into industrial impasse at NUPRC


Energy expert urges Tinubu to wade into industrial impasse at NUPRC

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A concerned energy expert, Mr Tajudeen Suleiman has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to urgently wade into the induatrial impasse at the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

It could be recalled that the aggrieved staff of the commission had on Wednesday picketed its headquarters in Abuja sequel to the expiration of the 24-hour ultimatum they had earlier issued to the management to address their demands.

The staffers are demanding the immediate sack of the Chief Executive of the commission, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe over an alleged fraud and abuse of office.

They are also alleging that there are manifest mismanagement of the commission and poor employee welfare through the two years of his stewardship.

They had appealed to President Tinubu to sack Komolafe to pave way for an urgent unrestrained forensic audit of all the contract processes and payments by the commission under his watch.

Union leader, Comrade Okechukwu Anya, had among other things decried that Komolafe had resorted to intimidation instead of improving the the staff welfare and redressing other grey issues in the commisson.

He alleged that there is neglect of staff welfare, inability to cover medical services for staff due to heavy debts, non payment of statutory group life insurance and pension claims, as well as underpayment of staff claims.

In the same vein, the commisson had been turned into a hotbed of favouritism and nepotism, citing the recruitment of over 140 individuals sons of highly placed Nigerians without following due process and flagrant violation of the Federal Character Commission and extant Federal Public Service Rules, among others.

This concurred with the earlier resolution of 9th House of Representatives on lopsided recruitments at the commission that was made in Nov. 2022.

Commenting on the obnoxious development, the expert, Tajudeen Suleiman appealed to Tinubu to urgently wade into the matter with a view to resolving it as it portends grave consequences for the nation’s economy.

According to Suleiman, the impasse at the commission has some formidable negative implications on Nigeria’s economy and the global oil market.

He added that the problem would be aggravated by the current hardship Nigerians are facing occasioned by the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy.

The energy expert also said that the ugly situation would be fuelled by the prevailing security situation in Nigeria and other neighbouring countries.

Suleiman specifically mulled the idea of amending the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) as part of the plausible solutions to the impasse.

He said:”President Tinubu, the Petroleum Resources Ministry and the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Energy should therefore take urgent actions to address the demands of the workers of NUPRC.

“They should nominate people that head the affairs of the regulators in the petroleum Industry who are well conversant with related regulation of the industry and not those that come from operators and politicians.”

Proffering further solutions, Suleiman stressed the need to urgently deploy modern tools like ICT to effectively regulate the industry.

He also wondered why at this modern age and time there were alleged cases of sexual harassment at the commission.