Delay in appointment of MD OGDCL

Inordinate delay in filling the position of Managing Director (MD) Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) has allegedly caused panic and chaos among the employees and shareholders of the premier Explorations and Production (E&P) company of the country.

Perturbed over the continued decline in the performance of OGDCL, Najam K. Hyder, a shareholder of the OGDCL, in a letter dated 17th May, 2022 to Zafar Masood, Chairman, Board of Directors (BoDs) of OGDCL, urged to expedite the process of recruitment of a qualified MD/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and in the meantime the charge of the position should be given to an individual either from within OGDCL or one of the members of the board who has hands on knowledge of E&P sector.

“I hope that in spite of your busy schedule as president Bank of Punjab (BoP), you will take some time to resolve this issue before it is too late,” said Najam K. Hyder, a shareholder of the OGDCL.

According to the letter of Najam K. Hyder, the performance criteria for E&P companies in Pakistan is solely the production of oil and gas and reserve replacement, both of which have shown continued decline. The financials are not a true reflection as they are overwhelmingly affected by the oil prices and exchange rate, both of which are independent of OGDCL and governed by external factors.

“The major reason for this decline is the lack of leadership and a firm hand in setting and achieving physical targets which only a regular and full time CEO can provide,” Najam K. Hyder said, adding, that part time and acting charges do not work especially when they lack the domain knowledge.      

Raising serious concerns over the discrimination being done in the recruitment of Executive Directors (EDs) from external sources and promotion of the regular officers of the company, OGDCL Officers Association, in a letter to Petroleum Minister Musadik Malik, also requested to immediately stop all such recruitment till this anomaly is resolved and urged to play role in provision of justice to the regular officers of the company and asked for the appointment of a regular MD/CEO of the company.

“Otherwise, 2500 regular officers of the company will be forced to protest against these cruel practices of the OGDCL management”, reads a letter of OGDCL Officers Association.

The OGDCL Officers Association also lamented that there are no career development plans/strategies for the growth of regular officers while other Exploration and Production (E&P) companies are retaining and encouraging their valuable employees. Similarly, there are multiple policies and procedures being adopted for recruitment purposes which are contradictory to service rules of the company. Tailored/customized advertisements are being prepared and floated just to accommodate blue eyed external candidates from starting level to Chief Operating Officers (DY. MD), said OGDCL Officers Association.

“In addition to it, the required experience has also been exceptionally modified /relaxed for them,” reads a letter of OGDCL Officers Association.

According to OGDCL Officers Association, contractual Executive Directors (EDs) are hired with a post qualification experience of 18 years (as amended for induction purpose only), whereas as per company policy, experience of 36 years is required for a regular officer to be promoted for the post of ED.

As per details, experience required for internal promotion for EG-3 is six (6) years while experience required for external hiring is only four (4) years. Similarly, the experience required for internal promotion for EG-4 is 11 years while experience required for external hiring is only seven (7) years. Likewise, experience required for internal promotion for EG-5 is 16 years (Deputy Chief) while experience required for external hiring is only 10 years. More, experience required for internal promotion for EG-6 is 21 years while experience required for external hiring is only 12 years. Furthermore, experience required for internal promotion for EG-7 is 25 years while experience required for external hiring is only 14 years. For EG-8 slot, experience required for internal promotion is 31 years and experience required for external hiring is only 16 years. And, the experience required for EG-9 for internal promotion is 36 years while experience required to fill this important position for external hiring is mere 18 years. Besides, so far no internal hiring for EG-9A (COO) is made while experience required for external hiring to fill this lucrative slot is only 20 years.

OGDCL Officers Association further highlighted that salary structure of regular employees is quite different from the contractual employees, like there is no capping on the salary structure of contractual employees. Moreover, the company is considering to convert all these blue eyed officers hired on term contract into open end contract and they will also be eligible for promotions just like regular officers of the company.

On the other hand, hundreds of most eligible and experienced regular officers are still awaiting for their promotions against these posts that are being filled by external candidates. Hence, it is quite evident that the OGDCL management is deliberately discouraging the career growth of the regular officers by blocking their career path, said OGDCL Officers Association.

It is pertinent to mention here that the top lucrative slot of MD OGDCL is vacant from the end of September 2021 as Shahid Salim unexpectedly tendered resignation from his post before completion of three-year tenure. He was appointed as MD OGDCL on January 1, 2020.  Till his appointment as the OGDCL’s managing director, the company remained without a formal managing director since 2013. Masood Siddiqui was the last regular managing director of this premier E&P company of the country who served for a year and a half and then resigned.

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Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is a an investigative journalist at Profit. He can be reached at [email protected]

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