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Crude contracts: NNPC shuns Reps order on presidential approval

Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu

John Ameh

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has yet to provide document from the Presidency authorising it to trade 445,000 barrels of crude oil under its Refined Product Exchange Agreement contracts.

Otherwise known as SWAP, the transactions involved the exchange of crude oil for refined petroleum products in which the corporation gave out 445,000 barrels of crude daily to trading companies.

Investigations by The PUNCH on Tuesday indicated that three weeks after a committee of the House of Representatives directed the corporation to provide evidence of the approval, it had yet to comply.

Findings showed that the corporation had also not provided any evidence of the resolutions of its board endorsing the transactions.

The House is investigating the transactions through an ad hoc committee chaired by a member of the All Progressives Congress from Kwara State, Mr. Zakari Mohammed.

“This is the third week since the committee requested the corporation to provide the presidential approval and the resolutions of its board.

“None of these vital documents has reached the committee’s secretariat,” a senior National Assembly official told the The PUNCH on Tuesday in Abuja.

The NNPC and the committee have been at loggerheads in the last four weeks over a request by the latter asking the corporation to produce all documents relating to the transactions.

On November 12, the committee publicly complained that the NNPC was frustrating the investigation by refusing to avail it documents it requested.

The PUNCH gathered that the corporation later made available documents on “swap agreements and shipment” to the committee.

The committee, however, insisted on having the presidential approval and evidence of the board resolutions.

It was gathered that as of Tuesday, the two documents had not been produced by the corporation.

When The PUNCH reached Mohammed for comments on Tuesday, he confirmed that the corporation had not submitted the presidential approval and board resolutions.

He told our correspondent that the non-compliance of the NNPC with the directive would not stop the committee from proceeding with the investigation.

Mohammed added, “They have not submitted the evidence of the approvals.

“As a committee, we are not deterred. The investigation has to go on whether they submit the presidential approval or not.

“We are analysing the documents before us and we are going to open the public hearing before the House will adjourn for the Christmas break.”

The House had, on June 24, passed a resolution, approving the probe of the deals on account of allegations that nine companies benefited from the contracts through the Pipelines Product Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the NNPC.

On the list were Duke Oil, Mercuria, Sahara Group, Aitero, Glencore, Taleveras Nigeria Limited, Entena Oil and Gas, Tranfigura and Ontario Oil and Gas.

The motion on the subject was moved by a member from Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Michael Enyong.

Quoting the 2009-2011/2012 reports of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Enyong said the loss of $8bn revenue was recorded due to “discrepancy between the value of the crude oil given out and the refined products delivered.”

During debate on the matter on June 24, Enyong informed the House that Sahara Group received 90,000 barrels per day through an arrangement with Societie Ivorienne De Refinage, while Aitero received 90,000 barrels.

He added that Ontario Oil received 30,000 barrels among others.

Part of his motion reads, “Further aware that while one barrel of crude equals to 159 litres, the 445,000 barrels awarded to the above companies per day, when multiplied by 159 litres, will amount to 70,755,000 litres per day, whereas Nigeria consumes only 40,000 litres per day.”

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