Unions in the oil and gas sector on Monday pledged support for the “transformation stride” of Maikanti Baru, group managing director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) made the pledge in Abuja in a statement by Ndu Ughamadu, NNPC group general manager, group public affairs division.
Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, had accused Baru of flouting contractual agreements and creating a fear culture in the corporation.
Reacting to the allegations on Monday, however, Ughamadu said the minister’s allegations were not true as due process had been followed in the corporation’s activities.
At a solidarity visit to the GMD, Francis Johnson, national president of PENGASSAN, said the unions and its members considered it appropriate to rally round Baru and the NNPC management to pledge their support.
“The unions’ support for the GMD was based on his ability to walk his talk since assuming office last year,” he said.
“The national body of PENGASSAN and all the NNPC in-house unions are here today to show our support for you.
“You have brought stability to the NNPC and we are happy today that staff morale is high. You were chairman of NNPC anti-corruption committee for over five years and that was what informed your appointment as GMD of NNPC.
“Today, all the bullets you are taking are on behalf of members of staff. We will continue to pray for you, God will continue to guide and shield you.”
Ughamadu said the unionist called on Nigerians to be cautious of their comments on the controversy, adding that any wrong information was capable of discouraging investors from the oil and gas industry.
Sale Abdullahi, NNPC group chairman of PENGASSAN, who also spoke during the solidarity visit disclosed that part of the unions’ concern had to do with the need to protect not only the GMD but the corporation as an institution.
“Baru had streamlined the processes and procedures in the corporation leading to the full restructuring which was beginning to yield positive results,” he said.
“Today, the GMD and NNPC management receive inputs from staff and this gesture by Dr Baru has given members of staff a sense of belonging.
“Today, our inputs are being implemented and we are highly motivated.”
Other union leaders who were at the meeting to lend support were the group chairman of NNPC NUPENG, Udofia Benjamin and chairman of NNPC corporate headquarters chapter of PENGASSAN, Mathew Duru. (thecable)