- NNPC Probes N11bn Missing Petrol From Marketers’ Depots
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Friday announced measures to fully recover over 130 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, stored in the facilities of two indigenous downstream operators, MRS Limited and Capital Oil & Gas Limited, under a throughput arrangement to ensure a robust strategic reserve.
Providing details of the infraction of the companies, the Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, NNPC, Mr. Henry Ikem-Obih, stated that it was discovered earlier in the year when the corporation wanted to access the over 100 million litres of petrol stored at the Capital Oil depot for NNPC Retail, as well as over 30 million litres in MRS’ depot, all in the Apapa area of Lagos.
In a statement issued by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, the corporation’s COO for downstream, said, “We instructed the Nigerian Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of NNPC, to send additional trucks to those locations to move products for distribution aimed at meeting a supply shortfall we discovered in the market, but after days of not being able to access the terminals, we had to take a decision as the NNPC management to invite auditors and inspectors to go and do a physical check on the inventories.”
Ikem-Obih said the visit revealed that there was no molecule of product for the NNPC to evacuate.
He said the infraction by the two downstream companies was a clear violation of existing throughput contract, which prohibited owners of the facilities from tampering with the volumes in their custody without the express permission of the corporation.
“Armed with this information, we promptly called them in to explain to us what happened to our product in their custody. After the meeting with them, we issued them with letters and told them in clear terms to do either of two things: return to us the full volume of what has been stored in their depots litre-for-litre, or pay the full value of the products they took without our approval,” Ikem-Obih added.
He stated that the corporation alerted the Department of State Service, the Economic Financial Crime Commission as well as the relevant committees of the National Assembly with oversight function on the corporation’s downstream operation to help recover the assets, contrary to the insinuation that NNPC kept mute over the infraction until the Senate discovered it.
He said so far, MRS had fully complied by returning the 30 million litres of PMS that it expropriated, while the corporation had not achieved much progress with Capital Oil, which had yet to return 82 million litres of petrol valued at N11bn, out of over 100 million litres which it took.