By Obas Esiedesa
THE Federal Government Wednesday moved to douse growing anxiety over job security following the scrapping of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), with the assurance that no worker would be sacked.
The Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva who visited the agencies in Abuja alongside the Chief Executive Officers of the Upstream Regulatory Commission and the Nigerian Midstream & Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NPRA), assured the workers that the Petroleum Industry Act guaranteed their jobs in the new regulatory agencies.
Chief Sylva who led the CEO of the Upstream Regulatory Commission, Mr. Gbenga Komolafe and the CEO of NPRA, Mr. Farouk Ahmed to the meetings with the with the workers, explained that assets and liabilities of the defunct agencies would be fully assumed by the successor agencies.
According to him, “It is normal that at junction like this, there are anxieties and that is why I thought I should come by myself along with the permanent secretary to assure you that this is a very normal transition. The PIA has been passed and the law stipulates that certain actions must be taken.
“That the DPR as it is then was to be wund down and two successor agencies were to be inaugurated. And of cause myself, I have to step down as Chairman of the NNPC (board) as you all are aware. It is all because this is what the law states”.
He denied that the Federal Government sacked the heads of the defunct agencies, clarifying that the “situation is that the PIA has established these two agencies to succeed the DPR, PPPRA and PEF, and the heads of these agencies have been appointed by the President in his wisdom and they have also been cleared by the National assembly.
“It therefore means that the political leaderships of the DPR, PEF and the PPPRA will no longer have any place since the political leaderships of the successor agencies have now been appointed.
“But I want to assure you that staffs of DPR have nothing to worry about because the law is very clear also on the position of the staff of the DPR, PEF and PPPRA. No job is to be lost in this process, no remuneration is be lost in this process. The process is ongoing and the implementation committee is working on it, and the new CEOs will join that committee and we will work together to ensure that there is a seamless transition”, he added.
Speaking at PEF, the Minister assured the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) who are involved in the haulage of premium motor spirit (petrol) and other stakeholders that their transaction with the fund would be assumed by the Nigerian Midstream & Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.
“I want to also reassure NARTO and other people who have commitment with PEF that the law vests all the liabilities and assets of PEF on the new Midstream & Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority. And therefore they should be assured that whatever liabilities they have with PEF will be taken of by the new organization, nothing will be affected and so nobody should be worried. The law envisaged this and has taken care of it”, he assured.
Speaking earlier, the Head, Corporate Services, DPR, Mr. Ibrahim Ciroma assured the Minister and the CEOs that the workers were ready to support them and implement the reforms envisaged by the government in the PIA.
Also speaking at the PPPRA, Mr. Olasupo Agbaje, General Manager, Gas and Renewable, assured that the staff were also ready to support the new management to grow the sector.