Crisis in PPPRA over ‘imposition’ of new Acting Executive Secretary

Offices of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) across the country have been shut down by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) PPPRA Branch, over the confusion on the appointment of a new acting executive secretary.

The former Executive Secretary of the agency, Farouk Ahmed, had last week Thursday, handed over to the most senior management staff of the organisation, Moses Mbaba.

However, on Monday, February 22, Mbaba was sent on an official assignment to Lagos and during his absence, the Federal ministry of Petroleum Resources sent Sotonyo Iyoyo to the agency’s headquarters, in Abuja as the new acting Executive Secretary.

Members of PENGASSAN were infuriated by this move, leading to an instruction that the various offices of the agency should be shut down and operations stopped.

PENGASSAN Chairman, PPPRA Branch, Victor Ononokpono, has confirmed the nationwide shut down, noting that it was not right to bring someone from outside the agency to head the regulatory body in an acting capacity.

“Operations are to remain shut down until a better explanation comes from the requisite authorities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Punch Newspapers reports that members of PENGASSAN are incensed over the perceived imposition of an outsider on the agency.

A source was quoted to have 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.”

“She must have come from the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources or the minister. But whoever it is that may have appointed her, the fact is that she can’t come from outside to act as ES of the PPPRA.”

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