The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has described as false an investigation by an Online media indicting the Corporation of overseeing procurement fraud in slop oil sale, where two highest bidders are said to be the same people at the Port Harcourt Refining Company, PHRC.
It will be recalled that Premium Times claimed that the first two bid-winning companies were owned by the same Directors even though they failed to state what law this violates as there is no concrete evidences from the newspaper about the Directors.
Following the corruption report, the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG had invited NNPC to its anti-corruption radio program, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE on RADIO on September 14, 2021, to clarify the fraud cases raised in the investigation, which they failed to honor.
NNPC described the investigation as inaccurate, misleading and taken on the wrong assumption in a letter addressed to the Executive Director, PRIMORG, Okhiria Agbonsuremi by the Corporation’s Group General Manager, Garba Deen Muhammad.
NNPC added that it has made clarifications following the accusation, and emphasized it does not wish to further discuss the subject; which in essence means that NNPC has ruled out any more explanation to the general public in a radio discussion.
A statement by Chidozie Ogbonnaya, Media & Communication Officer, PRIMORG, revealed that there were however no available details anywhere including its website where the NNPC published the clarification it claimed to have made following the reports.
Speaking on the issues, an energy expert and publisher of Swift Reporters, Adewole Kehinde said, “For the fact that the companies that bided for the Slop Oil Sales have been found to be owned by the same Directors should not be the problem of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in as much as they meet up with the pre-qualification conditions for buyers which included, among others; “Department of Petroleum Resources permits for petroleum products and/or waste oil handling; evidence of previous petroleum products/ crude oil transactions; letter of comfort or evidence of capacity to pay; a brief description of the intended use for the slop oil; Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or Purchase Order (PO) from reputable companies if any; and an acceptance to indemnify NNPC/PHRC (against all liabilities in transit or use of the slop oil) in the event that you emerge the successful buyer.”
“It included “provision of bank reference stating capability to issue irrevocable Letter of Credit (L/C) on behalf of the company; provision of tax clearance for the last two years with credit rating report on L/C; evidence of trade of 60,000 MT of petroleum products in the last 12 months; evidence of a minimum business turnover of $300 million, alternatively provide evidence of sufficient bank facility to cover L/C for the slop oil volume of 30,000m3; evidence of three (3) years audited accounts and financial statements and letter of assurance to handle all logistics and relevant permits issue from DPR, NOSDRA, NPA, Navy, NIMASA”.
Adewole further said that since the companies that won the bid had meet up the pre-qualification conditions for buyers, there shouldn’t be any case of procurement fraud in the slop oil sales.
Excerpts of NNPC’s letter to PRIMORG
RE: INVITATION TO RADIO DISCUSSION
We acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 14th September 2021 requesting for an interview on your radio program by NNPC to throw more light on the alleged report published by an Online Media titled: “NNPC in Procurement Fraud: Two highest bidders in Slop Oil sale are same people”.
NNPC appreciates your interest in the Corporation and the need for clarity on the subject matter, but kindly note that the accusations are inaccurate, taken on wrong assumptions and unfounded with misleading information. However, NNPC has taken a position on this matter as the statement is false. The Corporation has already made its clarification on this false allegation and does not wish to discuss the matter beyond this point.
However, we are happy to engage you on any other topic of interest or trending industry issues. Please accept our best wishes and we look forward to possible collaborations in the future.
Please accept the assurances of my highest consideration and respect.
Garba Deen Muhammad
Group General Manager
Group Public Affairs Division