The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, PPPRA Branch have on Tuesday shut down the offices of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA across the country as result of issues bordering on the appointment of an acting executive secretary for the agency.
The PPPRA, responsible for fixing and regulating prices of petroleum products in Nigeria had on Thursday last week transited power between the former Executive Secretary of the Agency, Mr. Farouk Ahmed who handed over to the most senior management staff of the organisation, Mr. Moses Mbaba, the organisation’s General Manager, Administration and Human Resources.
Trouble however started when on Monday one Mrs. Sotonye Iyoyo who is not a staff of the agency was allegedly sent by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources to replace Mbaba who had been sent on an official assignment to Lagos as the acting ES.
The act of replacement as confirmed by the PENGASSAN Chairman, PPPRA Branch, was responsible for the nationwide shutdown.
The Chairman, PENGASSAN, PPPRA Branch, Mr Victor said; “Operations are to remain shut down until a better explanation comes from the requisite authorities,” stressing that it was not right to bring an external person to head the regulatory body in an a Yong capacity.
A senior officer of the agency who preferred to remain anonymous shed more light on the matter, he said; “The office is shut down for now because of the appointment of another acting executive secretary. You know the former ES, Farouk Ahmed, left last Thursday and handed over to the most senior officer in the agency, Mr. Mbaba.
“But surprisingly yesterday being Monday they brought another person while Mbaba was away in Lagos on official assignment. So the union rejected it on the grounds that there was already an acting ES. Their agitation was that how can there be an acting ES on Thursday/Friday and another one on Monday?
“And they also argued that why is it that they are bringing somebody from outside the PPPRA to function in acting capacity, not a substantive ES? So these are the major thrust of the protest which led to the shutdown of our operational activities, both at the head office and at the zonal offices all over the country.” He added.