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PTDF Promotion Scam Allegations Spark Calls for Government Intervention

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The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), tasked with training personnel for the oil and gas industry, is under intense scrutiny for alleged promotion irregularities. Ongoing investigations have revealed significant concerns about the agency’s promotion practices.

Investigations reveal that for precisely three years, while the former executive secretary, Bello Gusau, was heading the organization, twenty-four PTDF officials were sent on a training course called the Chief Officers’ Course, followed by a qualifying examination to move to deputy manager positions. The agency camped these twenty-four officers in a hotel in Utako for about nine weeks. After the conclusion of the examination exercise, the management, led by Bello Gusau, chose ten out of the batch for promotion, citing insufficient space to accommodate all officers due for promotion.

Sources allege that this decision was met with significant rancor, especially since management had earlier declared fourteen managerial positions vacant. An anonymous PTDF official noted, “It was almost obvious that the former ES organized the course as a sham, having predetermined who would be promoted and who would be discarded under the excuse of insufficient space.” This sentiment was echoed by other staff members who felt that the process was deeply flawed.

Moreover, double promotions were swiftly granted to management members within a year. Immediate pressure from the PTDF branch of PENGASSAN led to expedited promotions for junior officials, further masking underlying favoritism, tribalism, and discrimination. This prompted our reporter to embark on a fact-finding mission to uncover the truth behind these allegations.

The present ES, Alhaji Galadima, who took over from Alhaji Gusau, is allegedly planning another round of promotions despite purported vacancy limitations. According to findings, Alhaji Galadima has recently concluded promotions for top management staff, predominantly from the North, granting some double promotions while claiming there were no vacancies.

A staff member speaking anonymously highlighted the lack of a board of directors, which has centralized power in the hands of the Executive Secretary, allowing for unchecked influence over promotions and other matters. “The absence of a board of directors has allowed the ES to wield unchecked power, influencing promotions and other crucial decisions,” the staff member stated.

Another Chief Officer criticized the system for favoring the northern region, alleging, “They monopolize top positions and rotate power among themselves, perpetuating a cycle of exclusion and marginalization.”

Further investigations revealed that the same staff member had vied for the Executive Secretary position when the tenure of the immediate past Executive Secretary elapsed. He attributed his failure to favoritism perpetrated by the northern hegemony ideology, which many staff members believe is taking over the PTDF.

“Alhaji Galadima plans to merge previous course attendees with recent promotees, cherry-picking favorites for promotion to management cadres,” another staff member explained. “Some staff who have been due for promotion and waiting for nearly ten years are forced to answer to their juniors. This further perpetuates nepotism and favoritism.”

These practices have led to a significant decline in staff morale. Employees lament that merit and diligence are reportedly overlooked in favor of ethnic and religious affiliations. An anonymous staff member remarked, “Merit and diligence have taken a backseat to ethnic and religious favoritism. It’s demoralizing and undermines the integrity of our organization.”

The revelations underscore the urgent need for comprehensive reform within PTDF to ensure fairness, transparency, and accountability in its operations. There is a growing call for government intervention to rectify the situation and restore confidence in PTDF’s promotion process.

“The need for government intervention is urgent,” emphasized another staff member. “We need reforms to ensure fairness and transparency. Our organization’s integrity is at stake.”

Attempts to obtain the management’s perspective were unsuccessful. Multiple calls to PTDF’s spokesman, Lawal Ibrahim, went unanswered, and SMS inquiries to his phone received no response.

As investigations continue, the hope remains that the PTDF will address these issues promptly to rebuild trust and uphold its mission of training personnel for the oil and gas industry with integrity and fairness.