Capital Oil, MRS to face EFCC, DSS over missing N17.44bn NNPC products

Capital Oil, MRS to face EFCC, DSS over missing N17.44bn NNPC products

Two major oil companies in the country MRS Limited and Capital Oil and Gas Limited may soon go before the DSS, and the EFCC over NNPC’s products kept in their care but allegedly sold without the corporation’s consent, or knowledge.

The NNPC says it has reported to the anti-graft agency, and Nigeria’s secret police how both companies illegally sold about 130 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, valued at N17.439 billion, belonging to it.
NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, who made this known in a statement, said the product was stored in the facilities of the two indigenous downstream operators, under a throughput arrangement as part of efforts to ensure a robust strategic reserve.
He stated that the corporation is bent on full recovery of the product or its cash equivalent, hence its recourse to the anti-graft and security agencies.
To achieve this, the NNPC said it has set up two committees: one to examine the roles of some of its staff in the illegal evacuation of the product, adding, that it is also undertaking a review of its entire throughput policy in order to align it with global best practices
This committee will also carry out a review of the Corporation’s policy and guidelines for engaging in throughput arrangements with third parties to establish control measures that could help avert a similar incident in the future.
The corporation noted that a disciplinary committee had also been set up to investigate and deal with any of its staff involved in the issue, as part of efforts to forestall any such happenings in the future.
Mr. Henry Ikem-Obih, Chief Operating Officer, NNPC Downstream, also stated that so far, MRS has fully complied by returning the 30 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) that it collected.
He lamented however, that Capital Oil and Gas has been unable to return 82 million litres of petrol, valued at N11 billion, out of over 100 million litres which it took.
Ikem-Obih, disclosed that the infraction was discovered earlier in the year when the Corporation needed to access the over 100 million litres of petrol stored at the Capital Oil & Gas depot for NNPC Retail and just over 30 million litres in MRS Limited depot both in Apapa area of Lagos.
He said, “We instructed the Nigerian Products Marketing Company (NPMC) 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 NNPC Management to invite auditors and inspectors to go and do a physical check on the inventories.
“The visit revealed that there was no molecule of product for the NNPC to evacuate.”
According to him, the illegal evacuation of the product by the two downstream companies was a clear violation of existing throughput contract which prohibits the owners of the facilities from tempering with the volumes in their custody without 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,” he said.
Capital Oil and Gas is owned by billionaire Ifeanyi Ubah, a media mogul, who also has a football club in the local league.
His quest to govern Anambra State was truncated by the current governor who beat him at the polls. And there ware reports that he wants to take another shot at being governor of the state.
The Nnewi-born Ubah was also once involved in a messy financial business deal with Cosmas Maduka of Coscharis Ltd that led to calling of names, and they had to take the matter to their native home, where the traditional rulers settled the issue for them.

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