The management of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has asserted that there are no outstanding staff salaries, and all unpaid claims of the protesting staff have been addressed.
Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, the Commission Chief Executive (CCE), disclosed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
The two-day protest by some staff of the commission was triggered by grievances concerning non-payment of allowances, seven months of outstanding salary, poor welfare, non-payment of outsourced personnel, delayed staff medicals, unpaid upfront allowances, non-remittance of pension deductions from staff salaries, inadequate working conditions, insufficient working tools, and other related issues.
The protesters, who were part of the local branch of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, had barricaded the entrance of the NUPRC head office in Abuja on Tuesday and Wednesday.
However, Komolafe clarified that all outstanding entitlements and issues raised in the staff’s letter dated July 31 had been settled, as the payments had already been processed. He mentioned that the management had earlier invited the staff to discuss their demands and verify payment status, and ongoing engagement was taking place to address any pending items.
Komolafe emphasized that the protest was unexpected, given that the financial status of the commission had been transparently communicated to the staff by the management. He explained that handling financial claims required prioritization due to limited funds, but salaries and allowances were consistently paid before the 30th of every month.
The CEO pointed out that he approved the settlement of pending claims as soon as he was informed about the availability of funds while he was away on an official trip. The finance executive commissioner confirmed that the payments were being processed, but technical issues with the remitter platform, outside the commission’s purview, were causing delays.
In conclusion, Komolafe refuted any personal wrongdoing and highlighted that the commission prioritizes the well-being of its staff, emphasizing that financial decisions were made based on available resources.
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