14 April 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on Thursday, confirmed that four top officials of the Corporation have been compulsorily retired over their involvement in missing petrol scandal which has rocked the industry.
The media had reported earlier in the week that the Managing Director of the NNPC Retail, Mrs. Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, and three other top officials on Tuesday received their letters directing them to resign their appointment and to proceed on compulsory retirement over the missing petrol scandal.
The officials, including the Executive Director (Operations) of NNPC Retail, Alpha Mamza and Ibrahim Bello, who was said to be responsible for monitoring the truck out of NNPC products at depots in Lagos, got their retirement letters.
The four were found culpable in the 100 million litres ‘missing’ petrol scandal involving Capital Oil & Gas Nigeria Limited owned by controversial businessman, Ifeanyi Ubah.
A statement signed by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, noted that “In line with the ongoing reforms in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Management has announced the retirement of some staff and the deployment of others.
“The retired staff are Mrs. Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, Managing Director, NNPC Retail Ltd; Mr. Alpha P. Mamza, Executive Director, Operations, NNPC Retail Ltd; and Mr. Oluwa Kayode Erinoso, Manager, Distribution, NNPC Retail Ltd.”
According to the statement, the deployments are Mr. Adeyemi Adetunji, Managing Director of NNPC Retail Ltd; Engr. Lawal Bello, Executive Director, Operations, NNPC Retail Ltd; Mrs. Affiong Akpasubi, Executive Director, Services, NNPC Retail Ltd; and Mr. Agwandas A. Andrawus, Manager, Distribution, NNPC Retail Ltd.
The appointments take effect, immediately.
Until his new assignment as the Managing Director of NNPC Retail Ltd, Mr. Adetunji was General Manager, Strategy & Planning, Gas & Power and also former General Manager, Transformation Office.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, charged the deployed staff to remain committed to their duties in line with the transformation aspirations of the Management.
A committee constituted by the NNPC management to investigate the scandal, which also involved MRS Petroleum, had initially recommended the outright dismissal from service of the four officials for their respective roles.
But, following the intervention of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, the dismissal was converted to compulsory retirement with full benefits, sources said.
Although Mrs. Nnamdi-Ogbue had earlier said she was not aware of the recommendation for her to retire, authoritative sources close to the NNPC confirmed to this newspaper last night that she and other affected officials were served their retirement letters on Tuesday.
Despite collecting her retirement letter, the former NNPC Retail boss was said to have insisted on her innocence at a meeting with staff of the agency on Tuesday, where she announced her exit.
When contacted, Ndu Ughamadu, the NNPC spokesperson said he was not aware of the retirement letter.
“The only thing I am aware of is that the probe panel had submitted its report. But, I am not aware what their recommendations were,” Mr. Ughamadu said.
The missing petrol worth over N14 billion was stored at the private depots under a throughput arrangement as part of NNPC’s effort to maintain a strategic national fuel reserve.
Last January, when the Nigerian Products Marketing Company, NPMC, the NNPC subsidiary in charge of petroleum products marketing and distribution, needed some volume of petrol to bridge the supply gap, Mrs. Nnamdi-Ogbue had offered NNPC Retail’s stock of the commodity at Capital Oil.
But, NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Henry Ikem-Obi, said when trucks were sent to load the petrol at Capital Oil, it was discovered that the entire stock was sold off without the knowledge of NNPC Retail and the parent company.
Following the shocking discovery, Mrs. Nnamdi-Ogbue reported the matter to the NNPC management and anti-graft agencies, asking them to intervene and help recover the missing petrol or the funds from Capital Oil.