By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
Abuja – The Kano Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has recovered a sum of N328,988,296,990.62 from nine major oil marketers across the country.
The amount represents the cost of products the companies collected from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiary, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, PPMC, but refused to pay as and when due.
The recovery was sequel to a petition against the leadership of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and PPMC.
The petitioners had accused the NNPC and PPMC of conniving with the nine oil marketers to divert a whooping sum of N40 billion belonging to the government agency and asked the EFCC to move to recover the cash.
The EFCC in a swift reaction referred the petition to a special task force which swung into action by conducting discrete investigation.
The EFCC said in a statement made available to Vanguard on Wednesday that findings by the operatives of the EFCC revealed that the oil marketers were actually indebted to the federal government of Nigeria to the tune of N91,519,485,204.44 between 2010 and 2016.
“Further investigation into the allegation also revealed that the oil marketers had continued to obtain petroleum products from the government without proper payment in violation of the NNPC/PPMC credit facility regulations.
“The probe of the firms led to the discovery of N258,928,926,351.93 being the amount they held back from the oil corporation.
“Following the latter discovery, the total amount of debt which was due the government oil agency stands at N349,818,411,556.37.
“Upon the conclusion of the preliminary investigation, officials of NNPC/PPMC and all the managing directors of the concerned companies which are NNPC retails, Conoil Plc, Total Plc, OVH Energy Plc, Oando Plc, Forte Oil and Gas Plc, Mobil Plc, MRS Oil Plc, and NIPCO Oil Plc were invited to the Kano Zonal Office of the Commission where their statements were recorded following which the recovery process commenced.
“So far, a sum of N328,988,296,990.62 has been recovered from the major oil marketers.
“The outstanding debt now stands at N20,765,919,869.48,” EFCC said.