The Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Ms Bolanle Onagoruwa, has denied speculations about a possible staff rationalisation in the agency.
This was sequel to mounting anxiety and palpable disquiet on the part of the staff of the agency since a firm of consultants-KPMG was engaged to audit the agency.
In a telephone chat with LEADERSHIP, yesterday, she said that what was going was “an organisational review to look at ourselves to see how we stand” and to determine the position of the agency vis-à-vis the mandate given to it by the federal government to privatise some of its corporations and parastatals.
She maintained that the audit was meant to put in perspective the future of the agency given the fact that it has done a lot already in terms of achieving its core mandate and also to chart, if need be, a fresh course that might entail assisting the States in their own privatisation policy.
Ms Onagoruwa stressed that there was no sinister motive in the organisational review and pointed out that when the exercise was concluded there might, indeed, be the need to bring in more people even as she pledged that no arbitrary decision would be taken in terms of staffing.
On June 25, 2010, the agency had sought approval from the Chairman of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), the Vice President, who superintends over the agency, for it to commence International training for staff.
In response, the Vice President through his Deputy Chief of Staff, Engr. M.A.K Abubakar, in a letter dated August 17, 2010, asked the Bureau to engage a consultant to audit the agency before approval would be given.
Consequently, a renowned auditing firm-KPMG was hired for the task with the following Terms of Reference: Institutional analysis to establish the adequacy or otherwise of institutional structure; manpower assessment to establish adequacy or gaps in BPE’s Staffing and come up with the proposals to fill the gaps; training need analysis to delineate skills and capacity gaps and thereby generate training plan for addressing those training needs if any.
and review of the corporate governance practice and revise if available, or otherwise develop a corporate manual for the agency.
When KPMG resumed work at the Bureau in January this year, the Bureau also handed it a 15-point term of reference to guide it in its assignment.
Trepidation among staff heightened when the auditing firm allegedly abandoned its mandate and instead has been working on a list of staff to be sacked.
This assumed a crescendo at the weekend when the DG was said to have issued an order to the firm to subject staff to written and oral tests.
As a result, there has been apprehension at the Bureau as members of staff now discuss the plan in hushed tones even as they wonder why a government agency would plan to sack at a time when the Federal Government was making concerted efforts to create employment in the country.