By Michael Eboh
Senior staff of the Petroleum products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, under the aegis of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, yesterday, accused the Federal Government of frustrating the efforts of the PPPRA to effectively regulate the downstream sector of the Nigerian petroleum industry.
The workers disclosed that the decision of the Federal Government, beginning from 2008, to always appoint executive secretaries of the PPPRA from agencies regulated by the PPPRA had helped in no small measure in rendering the agency ineffective and lacking in autonomy.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Comrade Victor Ononokpono, Chairman, PENGASSAN, PPPRA Branch, stated that the persistent deployment of staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to head the PPPRA is a flagrant contravention of certain sections of the PPPRA Act bordering on autonomy and independence.
He lamented that the practice of appointing officers from operating/marketing companies to head a critical regulatory agency like the PPPRA is unthinkable and is in bad taste.
He said, “Portions of the Act of the PPPRA had remained unattainable under the regime of having operatives of operating company head the regulator. How do you regulate your bosses? How do you query your pay master? How do we align with global best practices? How do we promote control and checks in corporate governance? These are the questions the protest seeks answers to.”
He disclosed that the union had held a meeting with the Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and some other officials of the ministry on ways to seek an amicable resolution to crisis.