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.
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
US Congress Declares Joe Biden as The 46th President of The United States After Trump Mob Left
The joint congress of the United States on Thursday, January 7, 2021 certified Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States following President Trump’s mob action that disrupted the congress joint proceeding on Wednesday.
After ordering his followers to disrupt proceedings on Wednesday, President Trump later announced that there will be an orderly transition on January 20.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” Trump added.
While the certification was just a mere formality as Biden had secured enough electoral college votes (270) required to clinch the world’s most powerful seat, the refusal of Donald Trump to accept the results of the November 2020 election made the session a keenly watched, especially after Trump mob disrupted a joint session of the Senate.
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