By Michael Eboh
THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday, stated that it has partnered with the country’s anti-corruption agencies and the Department of State Security Services, DSS, to recover assets worth over N771 million from some fraudulent oil marketers.
In a statement in Abuja, the NNPC said the marketers had under-paid for petroleum products supplied to them from its downstream subsidiary, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPMC, at the Kaduna Depot.
It stated that the shady dealings of the fraudulent oil marketers were uncovered by forensic experts engaged by the NNPC Anti-Corruption Committee for the purpose.
The Chairman of the NNPC Anti-Corruption Committee, Mr. Mike Balami, disclosed that some of the assets recovered from the oil marketers include filling stations, water factories and six sports utility vehicles.
He added that the forensic investigation would be extended to the other NNPC depots across the country to stop the bleeding of the national oil company.
He said, “It was established that the affected marketers lifted petroleum products from the PPMC Kaduna depot without evidence of payment and when confronted with the evidence, they admitted to the offence and failed to pay their liabilities.
“The NNPC Group Managing Director, Mr. Maikanti Baru, was passionate about stopping all the leakages in the corporation. The forfeited assets would be handed over to NNPC Corporate Asset Boarding and Disposal Committee, CABDC, for immediate disposal.”
Balami added that investigation into lifting of petroleum products without evidence of payment was continuing, while he urged all relevant stakeholders to support the NNPC Anti-Corruption Committee in its onerous task of recovering all its monies outside NNPC’s system.
He said that this was the first time that the NNPC would be taking over assets forfeited by marketers who defaulted in their terms of engagement.
Balami disclosed that the federal government’s intelligence and anti-corruption agencies that collaborated with the committee to recover the assets from the defaulting marketers included the DSS, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission.