18 indicted top officials to go after audit of Nigeria’s oil industry

Some of the officials are accused of falsifying their service records.

No fewer than 18 top management staff in different government agencies and departments in the petroleum industry may be asked to go for various offences including alleged falsification of service records, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

This is part of the outcome of the ministerial personnel audit conducted by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in five of the parastatals under its supervision. The audit is part of the ongoing process to reorganize the oil industry, preparatory to the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), currently before the National Assembly.

The audit exercise, which involves the physical verification of originals of certificates and other documents by the workers, uncovered several cases of records falsification, including forgery and discrepancies in declared age.

The audit team led by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Goddy Onwughalu, found three top officials each from the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Authority, PPPRA, Petroleum Trust Development Fund, PTDF, Petroleum Training Institute, PTI, and Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) culpable of various offences.

In addition, six Assistant Directors from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) have already been pencilled down for retirement from service or redeployment.

The three officials from the PPPRA include two Assistant General Managers, alleged to have presented records and age declaration documents considered forged or falsified; and a General Manager, Wole Adamolekun, recommended for removal for overstaying his position.

The Federal Civil Service rule stipulates that all categories of workers in the public service shall compulsorily retire at age 60, or after serving for 35 years, whichever is earlier, with judicial officers and university lecturers as the only exemptions, as they are entitled to retire at 70 and 65 years respectively.

However, civil service rules also state that a director shall compulsorily retire after holding the office for eight years.

Though available records show that the PPPRA General Manager is yet to attain the mandatory retirement age of 60, nor 35 years in service, the verification team said he should have left service last year, having spent more than nine years on the position as director since 2003.

Mr. Adamlokeun, who oil industry sources claim enjoys the patronage of some influential officials in the presidency, is allegedly the only top official in the industry granted waiver on the mandatory 8 years age limit; for reportedly being used to checkmate previous executive secretaries in the agency.

Sources close to the PPPRA told PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday that the Executive Secretary, Reginald Stanley, who was becoming uncomfortable with some of the happenings around him, instigated the audit following complaints to the minister that he was having a torrid time working with the present crop of management.

Following the complaints, the minister already approved the immediate redeployment of four of the officials to other parastatals under the ministry. Those affected include Phillip Salvation to DPR; Daniel Afiakurue to Nigerian Local Content Development Monitoring Board; Dogo Joseph to PTDF; and Gbenga Komolafe to Petroleum Products Marketng Company, PPMC.

As part of the industry reorganization process, the former Executive Secretary of PPPRA, Oluwole Oluleye, was recently appointed to replace the Executive Secretary of PTDF, Muttaqha Rabe, who retired from public service after attaining the statutory 60 years, while the former director of DPR, Osten Olorunsola, was fired after a running battle with the senior staff union of the department over welfare issues and alleged administrative highhandedness.

Meanwhile, there are indications that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Pius Ayim, may within the week announce certain appointments in line with the Federal Government’s desire to re-organise some departments and agencies and address imbalance in the public service.

One of such appointments, authoritative sources close to the presidency told PREMIUM TIMES, is that of the successor of the former Managing Director of PPMC, Haruna Momoh, who was recently promoted Group Executive Director in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Strong indications are that Mr. Komolafe may be named on Wednesday at the end of the meeting of the Executive Council of the Federation, FEC, in Abuja.


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