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Welfare Crisis, Mismanagement Allegations Rock NUPRC

Precious Ahiakwo-Ovie

Staff of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) have embarked on a nationwide picketing of their office over what they described as “staff neglect and financial mismanagement” from employee union.

The Chairman of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, (NUPRC), Rivers State Chapter, Jim-Kuta Maman, who led members of the union to picket their Port Harcourt office along Moscow Road, explained to journalists that despite series of prior letters and meetings aimed at addressing these concerns, the situation has escalated.

“The union’s mandate is to work in partnership with the management to enhance the welfare of the staff and the overall growth of the organization.

“However, the union’s potential move towards civil disobedience indicates the staff’s desperation for prompt resolution of these issues. It is a plea for the Commission’s management to respect and uphold their commitment to their workforce”, Maman said.

The union’s escalating discontent, he said, is a result of unresolved issues, including: “non-remittance of pension; the Commission’s alleged non-compliance with the Pension Reform Act (2014), which deprives staff of their future financial security; non-conducive work environment; and substandard office facilities, which undermine staff’s right to a conducive work environment, negatively affecting productivity and staff wellbeing.

Others are: “insufficient working tools; lack of necessary tools, which affects staffs ability to perform their duties, and contradicts the Commission’s vision of being Africa’s leading regulator; inadequacy of medical facilities, causing a direct threat to staff health and well-being, which is a fundamental human right.

It also include: “alleged partial and late payment of staff benefits and allowances, which adds financial strain on the staff, especially in Nigeria’s tough economic conditions; unpaid staff claims and on-call allowances; delayed or non-payment for extra hours worked, which infringes on staff’s right to fair compensation; non-payment of outsourced Personnel; and neglection of outsourced staff (cleaners and drivers) salaries and benefits, which undermines their rights and compromises the Commission’s reputation”

Mamman said this is the first time staff of the Commission is coming out publicly to demand for a better welfare and working condition since after the separation from DPR to NUPRC.

He said if the staff’s demands are not met, the union will continue to picket the offices nationwide untill the issues are fully resolved.

“The Union has put the Commission on notice that unless these issues are satisfactorily resolved, we will continue to air our displeasure through civil means until all the issues are resolved fully.

“The issues should put the NUPRC management on their toes and necessitate a swift response to address these critical concerns, upholding the Commission’s reputation, and ensuring the welfare of its workforce.

“The spotlight is now on the NUPRC management to highlight the urgent need for effective resolution mechanisms that respect the rights and welfare of their staff and maintain the Commission’s integrity”, Maman concluded.
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