NNPC admits acreage transfer to NPDC lacks transparency

*NNPC Towers.

*NNPC Towers.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

23 April 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on Friday admitted that that the transfer of oil blocks to its subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, at the cost of $1.8 billion but for which only $100 million has so far been paid by NPDC was not transparently conducted.

The Corporation also called on the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, to investigate the transfer in a bid to resolve the matter.

NNPC’s Group Executive Director, GED, in charge of Finance and Accounts, Alhaji Ishiaka Razak, who stated this at a reconciliation meeting with the NEITI management, in Abuja, said that the oil blocks’ transaction was not transparent and requires comprehensive independent investigation.

According to a statement from the NEITI, which was made available to our correspondent in Abuja, the meeting was convened to resolve the frosty working relationship between both organisations, as well as reconcile the disparate data between them in the execution of their respective mandates.

Razak, who noted NNPC full commitment to the NEITI process, said the corporation will henceforth deepen its involvement at all levels of NEITI processes in the oil and gas sector.

On the lingering controversy over NNPC’s transfer of the oil blocks; OMLs 26, 30, 34, 42 4, 38 and 41, Rasak said, “We in the new management team of NNPC have reviewed that transaction and totally agree with NEITI that the transaction was not transparent and should be investigated.”

The statement noted that the Chairman of NEITI Board, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who is also the Minister for Solid Minerals, NEITI’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Waziri Adio, and Razak who represented the Group Managing Director of NNPC and Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu were at the meeting

NEITI had its 2012 oil and gas audit report stated that Nigeria may have lost billions of monies from the transaction, accusing the NNPC of lacking transparency.

The industry watchdog’s audit findings were further buttressed by a PwC audit report which also said the NPDC has yet to complete the payment for the assigned assets, with only $100 million paid out of the total value of $1.85 billion assigned by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

NNPC and NEITI had in the past held different positions on this transaction, with the former insisting that the transaction was duly completed.

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