Wednesday 23 September 2020
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saharareporters - 1 month ago

Man Accuses ExxonMobil Of Illegal Termination Of Appointment, Seeks Justice


Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, has allegedly illegally disengaged one Ernest Omo-Ojo without following the rules set by the Department of Petroleum Resources. Termination of employment in the Nigerian oil sector is regulated and going by the provisions of the guidelines for the release of staff in the oil and gas industry, an employer that wishes to terminate the contract of an employee is required to obtain the approval of the Minister of Petroleum Resources. SaharaReporters gathered that none of this was followed when Omo-Ojo was sacked on June 24, 2019. The young man said that prior to his sack, he received a suspension letter from MPNU on April 12, 2019, and on April 16, 2019, he submitted a petition to the DPR. Subsequently, he had follow-up meetings with the DPR representatives and was told that a formal letter would be dispatched to ExxonMobil referencing his petition. In May 2019, he was invited by DPR and was told that the letter had been written to ExxonMobil intimating the company of his petition and that the company provided feedback, stating that his “suspension was with pay and that there was an ongoing investigation”. Omo-Ojo said he was consequently assured by the DPR that everything was under control and that no further action would be taken by MPNU. But in June 2019 his appointment was terminated without recourse to the DPR with any findings or why the action was taken. He said for over 15 months, there had been a back and forth engagement with MPNU and it appears the company had not been forthcoming to resolve the matter. On October 15, 2019, the DPR invited ExxonMobil to provide explanations for its actions and explain the circumstances of steps taken over the termination of Omo-Ojo’s employment without any recourse to the DPR. As part of the resolution of the October 15, 2019 meeting with the management of ExxonMobil, DPR insisted on his recall unless the company can demonstrate that due process was followed under the DPR guidelines. The DPR then issued ExxonMobil a 14-day deadline to comply with the laid down guideline. Following ExxonMobil’s refusal to comply with the DPR’s December 5, 2019 resolution, Omo-Ojo was invited to a tripartite meeting with the DPR and the management of ExxonMobil convened on January 14, 2020. Rather than produce any tangible result, the meeting ended in frustration for the young man, who was subsequently advised to take the matter to court. Contacts made to ExxonMobil over the issue did not yield any result as officials refused to speak on the matter.
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