By Ediri Ejoh
A downstream oil and gas firm, Aiteo Group, yesterday said it has created significant direct and indirect employment, contributed billions of Naira and millions of US Dollars to the nation’s treasury and led to direct foreign investment worth more than $4 billion.
Besides, it also said that it is committed to developing its oil field asset in OML 29 and Nembe Creek Trunk Line, NCTL upstream and building sound business ethics.
The company also noted that it has become a major player in the oil and gas industry especially in importing and exporting petroleum products in Nigeria and was flourishing as a prosperous corporate entity, by all standards.
This was even as the company created significant direct and indirect employment, contributed billions of Naira and millions of US Dollars to the nation’s treasury and led to direct foreign investment worth more than $4 billion.
The company in a statement, said, “We have become aware of a defamatory publication by an online newspaper. This publication alleges without any foundation whatsoever, that our Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Mr Benedict Peters, bought property in England and luxury furnishings for the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke in return for contracts from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
“The publication contains several untrue and malicious allegations against our Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and the Aiteo Group. It is obviously directed against the image, reputation and integrity of our EVC and the company in what we have identified as an orchestrated large-scale campaign of calumny which is sponsored and designed to tarnish our image.
“We have responded to most of the baseless allegations in previous publications but global best practice demands that we tender this rebuttal for the sake of our shareholders, stakeholders, host communities, the many thousands directly or indirectly deriving their livelihood from the company and the public at large”.
Aiteo, however, denied that its CEO, has not been charged with any criminal offence in Nigeria or any other jurisdiction with respect to any of the matters stated in the publication, adding that, “Like every major player in the oil and gas sector, including international oil companies (IOCs), Mr Peters and the Aiteo Group’s interactions with Diezani as with other Ministers before her, were in accordance to acceptable corporate practice in Nigeria. Other than such interaction, there is no commercial link between them and there is no basis for inferring any.
“We add that our Group’s contribution to the overall financial capacity of the country, over several years predating her appointment as Minister cannot be over-emphasised.”
In addition, the company engages in several other corporate social investment programmes in its host communities and the nation generally”.