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Why we transferred 200 staff to Lagos – NUPRC

The Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has said it transferred 200 of its staff to Lagos in the interest of the nation. The Chief Executive…

The Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has said it transferred 200 of its staff to Lagos in the interest of the nation.

The Chief Executive of NUPRC, Engineer Gbenga Komolafe, in an exclusive interview with Daily Trust said the motive conveyed in the Daily Trust which broke the report of the transfer could not be substantiated.

Komolafe said: “It’s not a decision that was taken out of ill-motives or bad motives or anything. It was a decision that had to be taken in the interest of the nation.

“We are a technical or what you call an operational organisation. The entities that are being regulated are located outside Abuja. You have to do physical oversight. You want to monitor the terminals we use. You don’t often do this remotely by staying in Abuja, you have to be on site.

“So now because all the children of ‘big men’  want to stay in Abuja,  how do you  balance it  when people cannot operate within the field operation office.”

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Abuja Office over concentrated

Komolafe also said the Abuja office is over-concentrated. “As I speak to you, if you come to our conference room where we have a board meeting, it has been converted to offices and whenever you want to use the board offices, such staff have to go outside.

“Journalists will come to the parking space and see staff standing and they will be asking them why are you people standing and the next thing they will say is that they don’t have an office. They will say go and ask the chief executive. If you come to my office, you see that the whole place is congested.”

He said the commission has facilities in Lagos that are completely idle, adding that more than 50% or 60% of the operational activities are located within the Lagos zone.

He further explained that the move emanated from a suggestion from the staff union which asked the management to look into the situation of staff who are not properly accommodated within their office.

“It was the union that made me understand that some of the staff have space constraints. For your information, we have been trying to get an extra building for almost a year as part of our approval that we’ve gotten from the board.

“Despite coming up with the rent option, you still have to go through due processes. The ministry of work as part of the requirement for the due process, will go and value that house and give us a report. The Ministry of Work recommended a rent that is far below the value the owner of the property wants to take. The owner of the property said he’s not ready to rent this property like that for almost one year.”

Komolafe said in the face of the difficulty, the commission resolved to see if there are people in Abuja whose jobs are more related to outstation. 

“We set up a committee from there.  I did not sit down and said they will be moving some people arbitrarily. I said to the heads of department, look at your departments and see whether some of your staff will better serve at the outstation as a way of easing the place, get the union involved. That is the decision that was taken. So, what else will somebody do?”

The NUPRC, in a memo dated February 14, 2024, signed by Dr Kelechi Onyekachi Ofoegbu, had indicated that the decision was taken to improve service delivery, lower operating costs and fully utilise its assets in Lagos.

Daily Trust had reported yesterday that the agency was trying to toe the line of CBN and FAAN to move 200 staff to its office in Lagos.

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