The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) subsidiary, NNPC Retail, along with 22 major and independent petroleum products marketing firms owed the federal government at least N86.4 billion by July 21, 2016.
The debts are in respect of products allocated to the companies by the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) for distribution over the last 10 years, details seen by this newspaper show.
The documents were filed to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and the NNPC Retail (mega filling stations) account for about 85 per cent of the debt, while the independent marketers owe the balance.
The major marketers include NNPC Retail (N22.56 billion), Oando (N25.05 billion), Forte Oil (N10.09 billion), Nigerian Independent Petroleum Company (NIPCO) N5.5 billion, Total Oil (N1.42 billion), Conoil (N1.3 billion) and Mobil Oil (N276.95 million).
The independent marketers include Master Energy (N5.5 billion), MRS Oil & Gas (N3.997 billion), Heyden Petroleum (N2.7 billion), Danium Petroleum (N2.35 billion), A&E Petroleum (N1.89 billion), Rahamaniyya Petroleum N1.65 billion), Càpital Oil (N1.3 billion), and Amicable Petroleum (N495.35 million).
Others debtors are Aiteo Petroleum (N426.37 million), Honeywell Oil (N40.96 million), DM Kurfi (N36.11 million), Ascon Petroleum (N20.04 million), Azman Oil (N19.35 million), Felande Petroleum (N8.4 million), Sharon Oil (N3.8 million) and Zamson Petroleum (N3.06 million).
The most indebted companies are owned by some of Nigeria’s and Africa’s richest billionaires.
Oando PLC, which owes the largest chunk of N25.05 billion, is owned by Wale Tinubu.
Femi Otedola, another billionaire, owns Forte Oil, which is responsible for N10.09 billion. Conoil is owned by Mike Adenuga, who is also the telecoms company, Globacom. The company is owing N1.3 billion.
The allocation of products to the firms was under the intervention bulk allocation arrangement and intervention truck distribution to marketers by the NNPC marketing and distribution subsidiary from its Suleja, and other products depots across the country.
The arrangements fetched revenues from partnership agreements for products supplied by the PPMC, which the oil marketing firms refused to pay to the government over the years.
Petition for action
A law firm, B. I. Murtala & Co., had petitioned the EFCC, accusing top NNPC and PPMC officials of “abuse of office, economic sabotage, illegal diversion of petroleum products, illicit enrichment and corruption as well as criminal conspiracy”.
The petitioner listed suspected officials it wanted investigated to include the Supervisor and Area Manager, Kaduna Depot of PPMC, Ajabi Hussaini and Rabo Shuaibu respectively, and Manager, Programming & Operations, NNPC, Abuja, Ahmed Tukur Gwarzo.
Others include Executive Directors, Commercial as well as Shared Services, PPMC, Ezecha Justin and Mustapha Muhammad respectively, and Manager, Finance & Accounts, PPMC, Titonenye Kokade.
“There exists a conspiracy between PPMC/NNPC and suspected oil marketers who deliberately withheld huge government revenues in respect of petroleum products received on credit without due payment or remittance into the Federation Account,” the petitioner said.
The law firm alleged the process of allocation and distribution of petroleum products by PPMC/NNPC was fraught with fraud and criminal conspiracies with marketers, leading to massive diversion of government revenues from the federation account.
Following EFCC’s investigations, NNPC Retail paid back over N15.95 billion between July 25 and August 1, 2016, with over N6.62 billion still outstanding. The EFCC also recovered over N5.57 billion from NIPCO, leaving a balance of N1.93 billion.
Other recoveries include N1.2 billion from Master Energy, with N4.31 billion still unpaid; N2.2 billion from MRS Petroleum, which still has N1.75 billion to pay, while Rahamaniyya Oil & Gas repaid N400 million, to leave N1.25 billion unsettled.
The PPMC, through a memo, August 1, 2016, by the NNPC Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Omoluabi Victor, informed the EFCC of the payments.
IPMAN President, Chinedu Okoronkwo, did not respond to phone calls on Sunday. He also did not respond to a text message.
However, a senior official of the MOMAN, who asked not to be named because of the sensitive nature of the issue, said the relationship between NNPC/PPMC and marketers allowed marketers to owe for a long time without reconciliation and payment.
“Products are supplied and an average of two weeks grace given for payment. Depending on the time of reconciliation, there could be credit and debit here and there. There is no month marketers would not owe NNPC for products supplied.
“There is always overlapping period before reconciliation. But, no marketer would owe for a long period of 10 years without NNPC taking action to recover monies from them,” he said.
The acting General Manager, NNPC Retail, Ibrahim Jumah, who spoke in the same vein, said although PPMC was one of the major sources for products by NNPC Retail, there was a regular arrangement for reconciliation for payment.
“NNPC Retail has a credit period of two weeks with PPMC. But, from June, we wrote to PPMC and insisted we want to proceed on cash and carry basis. So, we have been paying for products, and sometimes cannot even lift all,” Mr. Jumah, who is also the GM, Finance & Accounts, NNPC Retail,” he said.
“The PPMC is owing us N1.9 billion for coastal products we paid for about two years ago and have not been able to lift. So, they cannot classify us as indebted to them.”
The spokesperson for Forte Oil, Sam Ogbogoro, asked for time till Monday to respond to PREMIUM TIMES enquiry, as he would need to consult with officials of the company familiar with the facts of the case before responding.
He did not revert at the time of this report.
Nigeria Immigration Service Reopens Portal With New Passport Application and Payment Process
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced the reopening of its passport application and payment portal.
The assistant comptroller of immigration, Mr Amos Okpu announced in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
In the statement, Mr Muhammad Babandede, the Comptroller-General of the service, said the portal became effective for new applications from 12 midnight on Tuesday.
Babandede further said that the portal would allow eligible applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of passports of their choice.
Mr Muhammad Babandede explained that with the reopening of the portal, a new passport application and payment regime had begun.
The statement in full:
“The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (CGI), Muhammad Babandede MFR, has announced the reopening of the Passport application and payment portal effective 8th June 2021 by 12 midnight to allow eligible Passport applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of Passports of their choice.
The Passport portal was closed following the directives of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on the 17th of May, 2021to afford the Service the opportunity to clear all backlogs of applications that have piled up across Issuing Centres in the past few months.
With the reopening of the portal, a new Passport application and payment regime have commenced. Under the new Passport regime;
Applications and payments for Passport services shall be made through the Service website www.immigration.gov.ng;
- applicants are expected to visit the portal to apply and upload their support documents for vetting and processing;
- a chat room facility to guide applicants through the application and payment process has been provided on the portal;
- upon successful applications, applicants shall make their online booking interview/enrollment appointment on any day, time and location they consider convenient;
- that the new timeline for Passport production and issuance after a successful enrollment at the selected Issuing Centre shall be six weeks for Fresh applications and three weeks for Re-issue (Renewal applications);
- that no applicant who is yet to make an online application and payment shall be allowed into any of the Passport Issuing Centres for Passport processing;
- applicants will be contacted through email and phone number they provided during application when their Passports are ready;
- a helpline with the number 08021819988 has been provided for feedback mechanism on any challenges.
The Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede MFR wishes to use this medium to call on Nigerians and indeed Passport applicants to avoid patronizing touts as the entire process has been made seamless for effective and efficient service delivery. He warned Passport racketeers to desist from acts capable of undermining the reform efforts to avoid very strict sanctions.
Signed AMOS OKPU MNIPR
ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER OF IMMIGRATION
SERVICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
For: COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF IMMIGRATION 8TH JUNE, 2021″
INEC To Publish The List Of New Polling Units Next Week
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has pledged to publish a comprehensive list of its new polling units across the nation next week.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja.
Yakubu was speaking at the formal handing over of a new state of the art fire truck, deployed to the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja by the Federal Fire Service (FFS).
He said that details of the locations of its registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration for resumption of nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) would be made available in the second week of May.
He expressed appreciation of the commission to the FFS and all security agencies for the demonstration of their support to protecting INEC facilities
He said that the support was coming on the eve of the resumption of the CVR nationwide in the next three weeks.
“We earlier assured Nigerians that we shall conclude work on the expansion of voter access to polling units and make the new polling units available to citizens ahead of the CVR exercise.
“I am glad to report that we have accomplished this task for the first time in 25 years.
“A comprehensive list of the new polling units will be published next week.
“Similarly, details of the locations of the registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration will also be made available after a series of regular consultative meetings with stakeholders next week,” Yakubu said.
He said that as a member of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) FFS had been as concerned as other security agencies about the recent attacks on our offices across the country.
“This is particularly so because out of the 42 attacks on our facilities nationwide, 18 incidents resulted from arson and three more by a combination of arson and vandalisation.”
Yakubu recalled that concerned by those incidents, the commission convened an emergency meeting of ICCES last week of April, where the security agencies renewed their determination to collaborate more with the commission.
According to him, they pledged to assist the commission address the challenge beyond the routine protection of INEC assets and the security of its officials, voters, observers, the media, candidates and their agents during elections.
“On its part, the Federal Fire Service offered to deploy an additional state-of-the-art fire engine to the INEC headquarters to complement the two existing trucks.
“At the same time, it directed its state offices to take additional protective measures around other INEC facilities nationwide.
“Today’s inauguration of the new fire engine is another affirmation of the support to the commission from the FFS whose personnel, already deployed permanently to the commission
“The personnel will continue to operate and maintain the fire engines and other firefighting equipment installed by INEC,” Yakubu said.
Speaking earlier, the Controller-General (CG) of FFS, Alhaji Liman Ibrahim said the deployment of the firefighting truck was premised on recent fire attacks on INEC offices in different parts of the country.
Ibrahim, represented by the Assistant Controller-General of the service, Mr Samson Karebo, said the deployed truck would serve as fire cover for the premises of INEC headquarters and the entire Maitama vicinity of Abuja.
“The FFS is taking this step as a proactive measure to protect our critical infrastructure and help to protect our economy by forming synergy with all stakeholders in protecting our environments.
“Our center is focused on bringing firefighting operations to every part of the country as part of our statutory duties by having a presence in virtually every state in Nigeria
“The FFS will very soon be moving into all senatorial headquarters in the country. That is how we want to operate for now so that we can touch every corner of this country,” Ibrahim said.
He called for the cooperation of all for the service to better serve the nation by not molesting FFS staff in the line of duty.
In his remarks, the National Security Adviser (NSA) retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, who is also Co-Chair of ICCES, described the deployment of the truck as a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to sustain Nigeria’s democracy and address insecurity.
Monguno said that the gesture also symbolised commitment to a clear affirmation of Buhari toward protecting institutions of government, toward securing their property, toward fighting acts of irresponsibility, vandalisation and outright criminality.
“The President is determined as much as he can within the confines of legality to suppress any kind of criminality and destruction of public property.
“This is something that he is determined to do regardless of whatever the challenges are.
“He will apply all the resources in his disposal in his capacity as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to ensure the wider Nigerian society is safe, stable and is allowed to carry out its legitimate undertaking, free from any act of insecurity,” he said
Monguno urged all other security agencies not to relent in ensuring that they continued to protect lives and property.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba pledged commitment to security agencies to work with INEC and protect INEC’s facilities, citizens’ life and property.
Also at the occasion was the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, represented by Director of Joint Services, Mr Peter Obodo; as well as the representative of Director-General, Directorate of State Services, Tony Adikweruka.
Recovered Assets: Ad-hoch Committee Gives Emefiele, Others 72 Hours Ultimatum
The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee, investigating recovered assets, has given the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, 72 hours to appear before it.
The committee also issued same ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, and the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh.
The summon was issued on Monday, after Mr Emefiele and the others failed to appear before the committee.
The government officials had sent representatives, but the committee chairman, Adejoro Adeogun (APC, Ondo), said they failed to forward letters to that effect.
He said allowing representatives without a proper letter of introduction would be akin to allowing “impersonators.”
“You are indirectly insulting the House of Representatives. You are undermining the House of Representatives,” an angry Mr Adeogun said.
Moving a motion to give the agencies 72hours to appear before the committee, Ibrahim Isiaka (APC, Ogun), said the agencies created by Acts of the parliament “should not be undermining the parliament”.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the committee.
Mr Isiaka suggested that the House should shut down its activities if the agencies fail to appear before them.
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