By Emman Ovuakporie, Michael Eboh, Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Ediri Ejoh
ABUJA—The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday, dissociated itself from the $25 million failed oil block bid deal by an Indian company, Oil and Natural Gas Corp-Mittal Energy Limited.
Commenting on the failed oil block bid deal, NNPC, in a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, said attempts to link it with the transaction smacked of ignorance of the workings of Nigerian oil and gas industry.
He said: “Our attention has been drawn to the repeated reports linking the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, with the failed attempt by a certain Indian company, Oil and Natural Gas Corp-Mittal Energy Limited, OMEL, to acquire an oil block during the 2006/2007 oil bid round and the consequent failure to get a refund of the funds it committed to the deal.
“We wish to clarify that NNPC is not the statutory body saddled with the responsibility of organizing bid rounds and so could not have received the alleged amount of $25 million or any payment from OMEL for the transaction.
“We find the deliberate attempt to drag NNPC into the various allegations surrounding the transaction as mischievous and unfortunate.
“We urge those who are interested in the story to seek clarification with the relevant agencies responsible for conducting bid rounds and to whom OMEL may have paid the alleged fee.”
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives, yesterday, mandated its committees on petroleum upstream and downstream, when constituted, to investigate the operations of the joint venture agreements with particular reference to leakages.
The House said that the yet to be constituted committee would carry out a forensic assurance review of the books to establish the amounts of income that accrued to the joint venture partners in the past seven years and actual amount remitted to the federation account.