Ten top officials of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, were on Friday served their sack letters, as the Federal Government began implementation of the recommendations of the ministerial personnel audit conducted by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in five of the parastatals under its supervision, in April.
The affected officials, whose sack was announced through memo number PTDF/A&HR/SD/353/V.1/14 dated October 18, 2013, titled, Disengagement of Staff, and signed by B. Z. Ahmad, included three general managers, a manager, deputy manager, and six other senior officials.
The officials, some of whom have already received their disengagement letters, include Jolomi Arenyeka, who was the General Manager (Nigerian Content Department); Habiba Wakil, General Manager (Legal & Secretariat Services); Joseph Dogo, General Manager (Special Duties); Nasir Ahmed (Manager (Upstream); and Usman Pindar (Deputy Manager , Mid and Downstream).
Others are Gregory Aziobaologha, who was Officer 11 (Technical Services); Abdulmanaf Ibrahim, Supervisor (Education); Salisu Babaji, Assistant Supervisor (Human Resources); Mangse Yikalhan Assistant Supervisor (Finance & Administration), and Faith Idaikwo, Senior Assistant Supervisor (Administration).
The memo read, “Sequel to the verification exercise carried out by the officials of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources recently, the Honourable Minister has directed the petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, to disengage the following staff.
“Consequently, the affected staff who are available have been issued with their disengagement letters, while letters for those who are out of the office have been sent through members of staff close to them for onward delivery.”
While directing the affected staff to handover all PTDF’s property in their possession to the most senior officers in their various departments, the letter urged the remaining staff to stay calm.
News of the sack sent shock waves across the different departments, agencies and parastatals in the petroleum industry where no fewer than 18 top management staff, were reportedly indicted during the audit exercise.
PREMIUM TIMES reported exclusively that the affected officials were found culpable of various offences, including alleged falsification of service records and corruption.
It was gathered that the exercise, which involved 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.
During the exercise, the audit team, led by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Goddy Onwughalu, reportedly found three top officials each from the PTDF; Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Authority, PPPRA; Petroleum Training Institute, PTI; and Petroleum Equalisation Fund, PEF, culpable of various offences.
The three officials from the PPPRA included two assistant general managers, alleged to have presented records and age declaration documents considered forged or falsified; and a general manager, recommended for removal for overstaying his position.
Six assistant directors from the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, were also penciled down for retirement or redeployment.
The exercise was conducted as part of an ongoing process to reorganise the oil industry, preparatory to the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, currently before the National Assembly.
Prior to the exercise, a multimillion dollar scandal was reported early this year, involving some top PTDF officials in charge of the overseas scholarship scheme. Some unqualified Nigerians, who paid heavily for their placements, were reportedly enlisted as beneficiaries.