Over 1000 workers of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will leave service any moment from now.
More than 200 of them are middle level officers that are caught up in the ongoing restructuring that has seen the exit of top management staff and nine heads of the corporation’s subsidiaries.
About 800 others are those that will attain the mandatory retirement age of 60 years or 35 years in service in the next one and a half years.
The new NNPC boss, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has said all staff retiring by 31st December 2016 should go now as a result of the downsizing, a source said.
The source said those to be affected are from the subsidiaries, especially pioneer workers of the refineries.
As at January this year, the Corporation has about 9,500 workers in its services.
The New Group Managing Director announced the disengagement of 38 management staff last week and said the on-going retirement of the Corporation workers will go down to the lower cadre.
‘It’s A to zero restructuring. I’ve done the first three layers which is going from the Group Executive Directors to Group General Managers and General Managers. You’re going to have a lot more now. The NNPC isn’t public service. It’s a corporation and we run like a company generating money for the people of Nigeria. So, the whole concept of anything goes should stop,” he had said.
Already there is agitation from the staff due to the on-going reforms alleging that it was not following due process.
They cited the example of recruitment of about 12 top management staff into corporation and deploying them in key positions without any employment notice or consultations of relevant stakeholders.
They also accused the new management of punishing some staff that insisted on due process.
Last Friday the two unions in the oil industry, the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (NUPENG and PENGASSAN) warned that the reforms are exposing their members to danger.
“The on-going exercise portends a great danger in the Oil and Gas Sector, if workers are meant to bear the brunt of Government current action where the fight on corruption is now used as an act of vindictiveness against workers.”
Meanwhile, the management has scheduled a meeting with the oil unions tomorrow as part of the efforts to carry them along.
The Management further said the reforms were free from ethnicity or any agenda but mainly to enshrine professionalism in the system in a statement issued recently.
I’m Not on Mass Retrenchment Binge – GMD
The Group Managing Director has said his mandate was to put in place efficient, transparent and profit-oriented processes and not to embark on a mass retrenchment of the workforce.
Dr. Kachikwu stated that the mandate given to him by President Muhammadu Buhari is to turn around the entire commercial processes and procedures in order to impact on the growth trajectory and operations of the Corporation.
A statement from the NNPC yesterday said the reduction in the directorate from eight (8) to four (4) at the top management cadre of the NNPC is to refocus and sharpen the business aspiration of the Corporation, adding that training and retraining of members of staff to align with the new vision is the next stage of the ongoing reforms.
The NNPC helmsman noted that all Production Sharing Contracts, Joint Venture Agreements and all other contracts between the NNPC and its various partners would be reviewed to reflect current day realities in the global oil and gas industry.
Dr. Kachikwu reassured that the recent repositioning is to put in place the right set of skills for performance stressing that the new arrangement provides a veritable vista for upcoming professionals in the Corporation to have a speedy career path.
He stated that the NNPC under his watch would put in place mechanisms that would plug all revenue leakages in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors while adding that all crude oil proceeds due for the Federation Account would be remitted accordingly.