The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum, Downstream, Joseph Akinlaja, has said that legislators will investigate the allegations of petroleum products’ diversion by oil marketers.
According to a statement issued by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Thursday in Abuja, Akinlaja stated this when he visited the NNPC, adding that the House of Representatives would come up with workable solutions to the current fuel scarcity in the country.
This is coming as the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, commended the support of critical stakeholders like the House of Representatives, adding that the corporation would partner relevant organisations to address the fuel supply concerns.
Baru noted that the corporation had commenced the automation of loading pumps in all its depots nationwide, noting that it was also increasing the volume of products distribution to the market and would not relent until the problem was over.
He condemned the action of some persons involved in products’ diversion, and noted that in October this year, there was an incident of 145 million litres of petrol being diverted in which the depot owner claimed to have loaded the product on a day that there was no loading schedule.
The Chief Operating Officer, Ventures, NNPC, Babatunde Adeniran, stated that products’ diversion was a major challenge that must be fought by all and sundry, lamenting a situation where eight trucks were sent to Bauchi State and none of them delivered products at the location.
He said the situation required the support of all stakeholders, adding that there was a need to check some excesses within the country and at the nation’s borders.
Meanwhile, the NNPC denied reports that some ‘ghost’ companies lifted 62.2 million barrels of crude from it.
It said, “The attention of the NNPC has been drawn to a story in a national weekly alleging that the following companies, AMG Petroenergy Limited, Brittania-U, Cassiva Energy, Hyde Energy, Masters Energy, Bono Energy Limited and Sahara are ghost companies and have lifted a total of about 67.2 million barrels of Nigerian crude oil valued at about $3.5bn between January and October 2017 from the NNPC.
“Contrary to the assertions, the NNPC duly entered into the 2017/2018 crude oil term contracts with the companies in their appropriate registered corporate names. Furthermore, the companies collectively lifted a total of 8.8 million barrels of crude oil valued at $436.35m as of 30th of October 2017, contrary to the claim that 67.2 million barrels were lifted.”
It said all crude oil lifting transactions were backed by irrevocable letters of credit issued by investment grade banks and, therefore, all payments were pre-secured.