15 January 2014, Abuja – The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has ordered the General Manager, Operations/Corporate Services, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, Wole Adamolekun, to immediately proceed on retirement.
A copy of the letter conveying the minister’s directive, sighted by our reporter in Abuja, and signed by the agency’s Assistant General Manager/Head, Administration, Moses Mbaba, directed Mr. Adamolekun to quit latest December 31, 2013.
A ministerial personnel audit panel constituted early in 2013 to verify the service records of workers in five parastatals under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources reportedly indicted Mr. Adamolekun along with several other top oil industry management staff for allegedly falsifying their service records.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported the sack of 10 of the affected officials in the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, in October 2013.
The audit, which involved the physical verification of the workers’ original certificates and other documents, was conducted by a team led by the then Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Goddy Onwughalu.
The team, which uncovered several cases of records falsification, including forgery and discrepancies in declared age certificates, recommended Mr. Adamolekun for immediate removal from office for overstaying his position as director.
The Federal Civil Service rule, which stipulates that workers in the public service shall compulsorily retire at 60, or after serving for 35 years (whichever is earlier), also requires that “a director shall compulsorily retire upon serving eight years on the post.”
The verification team found that Mr. Adamolekun, who became director since 2003, should have left service latest early 2012.
Some ministry officials said the decision to ask Mr. Adamolekun to proceed on immediate retirement was to avoid a nasty backlash if he were to remain in office beyond 2013, his 10th year as director.
Mr. Adamolekun, who has since obeyed the directive, would be remembered for his role in some of the controversial decisions that has characterised the PPPRA management in recent times.
As General Manager, Operations/Corporate Services, Mr. Adamolekun was head of an ad-hoc committee that recommended the payment of controversial allowances approved by the Executive Secretary, Reginald Stanley, for four of his aides.
The recommendation was contained in an internal memo dated April 5, 2012, with Reference A.3/8/107/C.38/Vol.1/T16, titled, Recommendation for the Payment of Stipend to Officers Working as STA, TA, Personal Secretary and Driver to the Executive Secretary.
In the memo, Mr. Adamolekun listed the beneficiaries of the allowances to include Mohammed Gaji (Senior Technical Assistant); Husseina Modibbo (Technical Assistant); Bekinwari Young-Harry (Personal Secretary), and Mohammed Abubakar (Driver).
The four officials were seconded to PPPRA from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, where they worked with Mr. Stanley when he served first, as Managing Director, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, and later, Group General Manager, GGM, in charge of New Business Development Division.
While being on secondment, the Executive Secretary approved the payment of stipends and other benefits to the four officials from PPPRA account, while they were also allegedly earning their salaries from the NNPC.
Public Service Rules on benefits of officers on Transfers and Secondments states that only the benefitting agency would pay such benefits to the officials.
Section 5(v) and (vi) of the rule states: “If it is in the public interest to second an officer to the service of another Government approved body or recognized International Organisation, the period of secondment shall not be limited and the officer shall continue to hold his substantive post and be entitled to increment and promotion and will be treated as having been posted on special duty. During the period of such Secondment, the benefitting organization shall be responsible for the officer’s entitlements.”
However, the memo showed that the Executive Secretary, with the recommendation of Mr. Adamolekun, approved that Mr. Gaji, who drew about N10.225 million per annum as salary and other emolutions from the NNPC (about N852,724.31 per month), be paid additional N526,037.16 every month as Productivity Allowance by PPPRA.
Similarly, an additional allowance of N357,134.99 was approved for Mrs. Modibbo monthly as performance Incentive Bonus, despite her official pay of about N5.691million per annum from the NNPC.
Equally, Miss Young-Harry was collecting about N203,476.21 per month from PPPRA as End-of -Year -Allowance, in addition to her salary and allowances of N2.483million per annum (about N206.952.42 monthly) from the NNPC.
Mr. Abubakar takes about N295,401.79 as Responsibility/Administrative Allowance from PPPRA every month, in addition to his salary and allowance from NNPC of about N5.890million per annum (about N490,803.58 monthly).
When PREMIUM TIMES contacted Mr. Adamolekun on the controversial approvals to the seconded officials, he explained that he could not respond as he had left the system.
“Please I cannot answer any question, I’m not in the office and I’m no longer there anyway, so you can get in touch with the office and they will give you a response,” he said.
A new GM, Operations/Corporate Services is yet to be appointed for the PPPRA.
– Premium Times