PENGASSAN joins protest against NUPRC’s Chief Executive in Rivers


PENGASSAN members protesting ‘Gbenga Komolafe must go’.

Mkpoikana Udoma

Port Harcourt — The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has joined in the ongoing protest against the Chief Executive Officer the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC in Port Harcourt.

This is as staff of NUPRC, formerly called the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, since Monday have picketed and barricaded offices of the Commission nationwide, to demand the immediate sack of the Chief Executive, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, over alleged fraud and abuse of office.

The protesters are accusing the NUPRC boss of deliberately refusing to open channels of communication to address concerns about manifest mismanagement of the commission and poor employees’ welfare through the two years of his stewardship.

However, they called on President Bola Tinubu to sack Komolafe or order him to resign, to pave the way for an urgent forensic audit of all contract processes and payments by the Commission under his watch.

In Port Harcourt, the staff of NUPRC armed with banners and placards bearing different such as, “Engr. Gbenga Komolafe must go” “Allow NUPRC staff breathe, have picketed entrance to NUPRC office since Monday.

The National Industrial Relation officer of PENGASSAN, Dr. Ifeanyi Eze, who joined the protesters in Port Harcourt maintained that urgent steps must be taken to address the issues affecting NUPRC staff, warning that the protest will continue until their demands are met.

According to Eze, their grievances include, non-payment of pension deductions, cooperative deductions, medical retainerships, nonpayment of cleaners and drivers for over seven months, insufficient work tools, staff’s medical outstanding payments, non-payment of outsourced personnel and others.

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He said, “In NUPRC office in Port Harcourt, they do not have electricity for the past two months. Then in NUPRC Lagos office, there is no water supply and in Abuja office, the lifts are not working.

“Beyond this, other things have been happening like non refund of medical bills agreed in workers’ collective bargain agreements. Pensions are deducted and not remitted, so there are myriads of inefficiency and deficiencies going on.

“You know NUPRC which was formerly DPR, is a regulator in the oil and gas industry, if the Commission who is the regulator cannot fix itself, then what will happen to the companies they are regulating?

“So, we are saying that there are a lot of people in this country that can adequately do the job, Komolafe should not be there. That is our stand. That is the stand of the banch, the Zone and the National.

“I know that there has been request for engagement in Abuja at different levels, but until we get something concrete or until all our demands are met; we are not going to back down.

“If they push us to the wall, we may be forced to escalate this peaceful demonstration, as you know, we are in charge of the locations where Nigeria’s crude is being lifted and without our efforts, crude cannot be lifted and that is why we are pained that we do a very sensitive job, and we are being toyed with,” PENGASSAN said on behalf of NUPRC staff.



This article was originally posted at sweetcrudereports.com

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