Over 500 workers to go in NNPC purge

NNPC tower abuja

…As GMD prunes aides

 By Adewale Sanyaolu

THE dream over 500 staff of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to retire gracefully after attaining the mandatory 35 years in nation­al service may soon be dashed as the gale of retrenchment sweeping through the organi­zation may see them bid bye to its gates in the next few weeks, largely unprepared for that phase of life.

For many years NNPC was one of the best places to work in Nigeria because of its gen­erous remuneration but today most of those to be retrenched in the unfolding drama may curse the day that brought them to the corporate.

The impending sack of the over 500 workers to be drawn from all NNPC subsidiaries is part of a renewed bid to clean up the corporation and position it for the challenges ahead.

NNPC has 13 subsidiaries which include the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC), Kaduna Refining and Petrochemi­cal Company (KRPC), Port Harcourt Refining and Petro­chemical Company (PHRC), Nigerian Petroleum Invest­ment Management Services (NAPIMS) and Nigerian Pe­troleum Development Com­pany (NPDC).

Others are Nigerian En­gineering and Technical Company (NETCO), Inte­grated Data Services Lim­ited (IDSL), Hydrocarbon Services of Nigeria Limited (Hyson), Pipelines and Prod­ucts Marketing Company (PPMC), NNPC Retail, Duke Oil Services and NNPC Prop­erties.

The reforms at the NNPC commenced about three weeks ago, with the sack of its Group Managing Director, Mr. Joseph Dawha, who was replaced by the Vice Presi­dent, Exxonmobil Africa, Dr. Ibe Emmanuel Kachikwu.

The corporation has over the years been discribed as a cesspit of corruption and riddled with inefficiency and the new GMD was mandated to put it on the part of sustain­able growth.

Shortly after Kachikwu settled down to work, the President approved the sack of about eight Group Execu­tive Directors (GEDs) and replaced them with four new GEDs, with the creation of four new directorates.

There is also the need not to retain disgruntled workers in an organisation primed for change and transformation as they can rock the boat.

But just last week, another shake-up carried out saw the sack of the chief executives of its subsidiaries and the re­tirement of about 38 manage­ment staff.

The latest move to send over 500 workers out of the system, according to a reli­able source at the corpora­tion, would affect all cadres of staff who are due for re­tirement from December this year and 2016. It is a decision that would see them proceed on forced retirement far ahead of their exit date from the cor­poration.

According to the source, panic has already enveloped the corporation and its subsid­iaries as workers to be affect­ed in the latest onslaught are worried that the policy will make them leave the service unprepared.

The first of such victim is the Executive Director, Engineering and Technical Services Division, Nige­rian Petroleum Development Corporation (NPDC), Mr. Hamidu Namtari. NPDC is the exploration and producing arm of NNPC. He was billed to retire next year March, but has been asked to proceed on terminal leave, a decision that left him disgruntled.

The move to show Nam­tari the way out, according to the source, may not be un­connected with the appoint­ment of Mr. Abubakar Mai Bornu as the chief executive of NPDC. Mai Bornu is far more junior to Namtari, who enlisted into the corporation in 1981 while Mai Bornu started his career in the Engineering and Technical Services Division (ETSD) of NNPC in September 1987.

Though there are still a cou­ple of Mai Bornu’s seniors in NPDC, Namtari may have been sacrificed because he may not be willing to work under his subor­dinate being the most senior ED in NPDC, hence the decision to sacrifice him.

“Already, the appointment of Mai Bornu is generating tension in NPDC and NNPC as a whole. Besides being a junior colleague to most experienced hands, many believe he does not have the requisite knowledge to lead NPDC as he has never had up­stream experience. “So, I don’t know how he will fit in here,” said an insider who prefers ano­nymity.

“He is just being favoured at the detriment of merit. He has worked with several MDs as Personal Assistant. And that may have been responsible for his latest appointment. But I am sure he does not have an idea of the workings at NPDC.

“NPDC as the cash cow of NNPC has been marginalised in all of these appointments. No single worker here was pro­moted in this re-organisation that is being carried out. We don’t know if this is deliberate.

“Check out all the list of ap­pointments made in the last three weeks. NPDC is conspicuously missing and yet the company rakes in more than 70 per cent of the resources generated by NNPC,” the source noted.

“The GMD last week Thurs­day appointed 16 new Group General Managers to man some of its divisions but no one was promoted at NPDC. This lop­sided appointment is capable of making workers function at cross-purposes with the inten­tion of government.

“I just hope the President takes a second look at this and reverse some of these appointments in order to promote cordial work­ing relationship among the workfoce,” the source reiterated.

And in line with the Fed­eral Government’s aspiration to transform the corporation into a lean, efficient, business-focused, transparent and accountable na­tional oil company in keeping with international best practices, Kachikwu has pruned down the number of his aides and fleet of official vehicles to fit into the mandate given to him.

Daily Sun learnt that the GMD met an office with 50 aides, 15 official vehicles and two houses. He has, however, decided to do way with the bogus number of aides and official cars to a rea­sonable number in line with his vision of prudent management of resources.

The GMD, since assumption of duty, has consistently said he sees his appointment as a serious national assignment that does not require frivolity.

But the corporation in a swift reaction decried attempts by a section of the media to politicize the recent appointments and re­tirements by imputing ethnic co­louration to the exercise.

In a statement, released at the weekend,it clarified that the appointments were made with the express approval of Presi­dent Muhammadu Buhari and in compliance with extant laws regarding federal character, while the retirement is without recourse to ethnicity or state of origin.

“The recent appointments, promotions, and retirements are all a part of the ongoing re­structuring exercise aimed at re­positioning the corporation into a lean, efficient, profit-driven organization in line with inter­national best practices without regard to primordial sentiments” the statement said.

It however, advised the Ni­gerian public to discountenance any report aimed at denigrating the ongoing reorganization exer­cise in the corporation.


Source : SunOnline

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