31 October 2013, Abuja – The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has stated that the engagement of independent inspectors by the agency to verify the volume of imported petroleum products saved the country N409billion.
It stressed that the reported allegation that there was a petition before the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over N3.5billion fraud was wicked, malicious and a figment of the imagination of the authors of the publication.
Reacting to a report on the alleged petition purportedly before the ICPC, the Executive Secretary of the PPPRA, Mr. Reginald Stanley, told THISDAY last night that there was no such petition before the ICPC.
He said the issue the agency had with the ICPC was over PPPRA Nominal Roll or Staff List, adding that officials of the PPPRA and ICPC dealt with the matter on Tuesday.
He said the PPPRA was present yesterday to honour the invitation by the ICPC where the Nominal Roll matter was dealt with and clarified that there was no N3.5billion fraud, let alone a petition to such allegation.
Stanley also stated that the purported petitioner, one Dagogo-Jack, who claimed to be a marketer, was also non-existent ghost, stressing that the publication was aimed at rubbishing the good works of the PPPRA.
“This is classical case of headless human being touting public officers for no reason. Therefore, this is a classical case of yet again a ‘phantom’ marketer who may be aggrieved and using this platform to tarnish the excellent records achieved by the new PPPRA in 2012 and 2013,” he added.
He disclosed that before the engagement of the independent inspectors in 2011, the volume of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) discharged in the country was 60.25 million litres per day.
He said with the engagement of independent inspectors in 2012, which was in line with best practices in the global oil and gas industry, the volume dropped to 39.66 million litres per day.
Stanley said the drop of over 20 million litres per day, saved the nation in excess of N409 billion, stressing also that the inspection rates were global rates open to verification.
According to him, it is not a lump sum contract but on a call-out basis.
On the allegation that the PPPRA bought computers, Stanley said the agency had no standard Information Technology (IT) infrastructure to handle the volume of transactions of the marketers, hence the gross abuse in 2011.
“Part of the success of the new PPPRA is a robust IT master-plan which entailed replacement of old dead computers. These are HP computers and the prices are fixed by HP through their accredited agents in Nigeria, who cannot influence the prices. The computers were physically delivered and confirmed by the auditors in line with PPPRA’s governance structure,” he said.
“Yes, Mrs. Husiena Modibbo, is the Technical Assistant of the Executive Secretary; she has never been a signatory of PPPRA’s accounts, even though she is a chartered accountant in training,” Stanley added, in response to the alleged role played by the officer.
– Ejiofor Alike, This Day