By Tunde Opalana
The Staff of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission have asked President Ahmed Bola Tinubu to quickly redress the recent employment of Ms. Olaide Shaw as a Director in the services of the Commission.
The Commission Staff pointed out that the recruitment of Ms. Olaide is an aberration of laid down recruitment and promotion guidelines as enumerated in the PIA 2021 and public service rules.
The Staff of the Commission made the call in a petition addressed to President Tinubu following what it termed a purported Directives from the Presidency.
In a three page petition, the staff said “President Tinubu, the Chief law officer of the land will not endorse any deliberate attempt at aberration of the law and laid down procedures”, pointing out that the letter in question directing the employment of Ms. Olaide could not have emanated from the President.
In the petition signed by Mathew Kola and Hassan Madibo, on behalf of the Staff of the Commission said the employment of Ms. Olaide Shaw from a purported and unsubstantiated Presidential Directive signed by Hakeem Muri Okunola, the Principal Secretary, to President Tinubu, directing the Commission Executive Director, Engr. Komolafe Gbenga to employ Ms Olaide as Director goes contrary to the adherence to the established rules and regulations governing recruitment, promotion and cadre placement practices within the Commission.
They maintained that the need to uphold the principles of justice and fairness towards maintaining a harmonious working environment in the face of the President’s anti corruption war cannot be overemphasized, appealed that he swiftly reverse the fraudulent employment of Ms Olaide.
Furthermore, the staff called on President Tinubu to act swiftly, by reviewing the situation in NUPRC so as to rectify the irregularity of the employment of Ms. Olaide.
Staff of the NUPRC also accused Mr. Gbenga Komolafe of the non – payment of staff benefits and remittances of deducted funds to the staff co-operative.
Similarly, they called on President Tinubu to probe the high level alleged corruption under the Commission’s Chief Executive Officer, direct the completion of investigation of the CCE by EFCC who was allegedly accused alongside Mrs Deiziani Alison Maduke former Minister of Petroleum.
The staff further demanded for an investigation into the alleged missing 48 ship loads of crude oil that got lost between 2015 and 2016 for which the CCE was allegedly involved, as the head of crude oil export in NNPC.
“We urge Mr. President to investigate by directing the EFCC to look into the books of account how the CCE, between December 15th 2023 and January 15th awarded contracts, paid in full to the tune of not less than N12billion without due process and for training that never happened to companies used but not qualified”.
While pointing out that the recruitment of Ms. Olaide is a deviation from established procedures, said if allowed, would lead to an aberration of the law governing employment and promotion within the Commission.
” That Ms Olaide, is only 39 years old with a debatable 19 years of experience”.
” That going by the rules, Ms Olaide is not qualified for the role of a Director which stipulates that the role of Director, a person must have a minimum of a Degree in the relevant field with a minimum of 22 years post qualification experience, at least 15 years of which should be in the Oil industry or allied activities and 12 years in a senior management position”.
” That the role of a Director is a natural career path for staff progression upon several promotions and not an appointment level. The position is occupied based on Federal Character”.
” That there is a clear distinction between political appointment and permanent pensionable recruitment in the Federal Civil Service guiding all MDAs”.
” That Ms. Olaide is currently a Manager at ExxonMobil Nigeria, the corresponding role for which translates into being at best a Deputy Manager to manager in the Commission “.
” That there are several qualified acting Directors that have rose through the ranks in the Commission that are now sidelines for an unqualified and inexperienced illegal employment of Ms. Olaide as a Director in NUPRC”.
The staff in their petition said failure to redress the anomaly’s by President Tinubu would have severe implications for the Commission to reduce staff motivation and morale, decrease trust and cooperation.
Furthermore, the staff said failure to resolve the issue swiftly by reversing the employment of Ms Olaide in the best interest of both the Commission, its employees and the nation would lead to increased conflict and grievances, potential legal ramifications as well as setting a bad precedence.