Oscarline Onwuemenyi, with agency reports
28 July 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has faulted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) claim that it has recovered a debt of N328.9billion from oil marketers for products received from Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) between July 2016 and July 2017.
The Executive Secretary of MOMAN Mr Obafemi Olawore, who disclosed this in an interview with the media, said the anti-graft agency is wrong totally in painting the marketers in bad image in a business transaction that took place as sacrifice by members to ensure availability of products nationwide. He stated that members of the association have been engaging officials of the NNPC in regular reconciliation exercise to sort out amount credited and debited.
He said, “How can an ongoing reconciliation be described as recovery from marketers as if members concealed the debt to sabotage the nation? I can tell you authoritatively that the story of EFCC is not true, we are reconciling account every two weeks for products received and amount credited into the account of the NNPC.”
The spokesperson of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren had disclosed in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja that the recovery of N328.9 billion by Kano Office of the commission from nine major marketers is a follow up to a petition against the management of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and its subsidiary, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC).
The marketers identified by Mr. Uwujaren include NNPC Retails, Conoil Plc, Total Plc, OVH Energy Plc, Oando Plc, Forte Oil and Gas Plc, Mobil Plc, MRS Oil Plc, and NIPCO Oil Plc.
He said the petition alleged that N40 billion had been diverted by the major oil marketers in connivance with the leadership of the NNPC and PPMC.
“The EFCC, in a swift reaction, referred the petition to a special task force which swung into action by conducting discrete investigation. Findings by the operatives of the EFCC revealed that the oil marketers were actually indebted to the Federal Government of Nigeria to the tune of N91.5 billion between 2010 and 2016.
“Further investigation into the allegation also revealed that the oil marketers had continued to obtain petroleum products from the government without proper payment, in violation of the NNPC/PPMC credit facility regulations.
“A probe of which further led to the discovery of N258.9 billion.”
Mr. Uwujaren explained that the total amount of debt stood at N349.8 billion following the latter discovery.
He further said that upon conclusion of the preliminary investigation, officials of NNPC/PPMC and all the managing directors of the companies concerned were invited to the Kano zonal office of the commission.
There, he added, their statements were recorded following which the recovery process began.
“So far, a sum of N328.9 billion has been recovered from the major oil marketers. The outstanding debt now stands at N20.7 billion,” he said.