House of Reps comes for N9bn balance from Capital Oil, demands full, immediate recovery

House of Reps comes for N9bn balance from Capital Oil, demands full, immediate recovery

- Not less than N9 billion has been requested by the House of Representatives from Capital Oil and Gas firm

- The money was said to be the balance of the N11 billion worth of petroleum products allegedly missing from the company in 2017

- The House said that the money should be paid immediately and in full

The House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) has directed the full recovery of N9bn into the treasury of the federal government from Capital Oil and Gas Limited.

The fund is supposed to be the balance of the N11b billion worth of petroleum products, which reportedly went missing from Capital Oil and Gas back in 2017, Punch reports.

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The products were alleged to have been stored by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the company's tanks under its various throughput arrangements with tank farm owners.

The committee, which is chaired by Akinlaja Joseph, a member from Ondo state, had investigated the alleged disappearance after it became public knowledge that the NNPC was unable to recover all the products upon demand for them.

It also came to light that a reconciliation of figures between the NNPC and Capital Oil and Gas left a balance of N9bn outstanding against the latter.

However, Capital Oil and Gas, in a testimony by its managing director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ifeanyi Ubah, denied any fraudulent intention. Rather, the firm stated that the NNPC actually owed it over N16bn from other transactions.

However, in its report to the House, the committee recommended the recovery of the outstanding N9 billion from the firm.

It noted that its investigation confirmed that the amount was outstanding and should be fully recovered.

On Capital Oil and Gas' claim of being owed N16bn from other transactions, the committee asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate it.

The report stated: “Ensure the full recovery of the Federal Government’s money i.e. N9bn balance from Capital Oil and Gas Limited. The claims of N16bn the NNPC allegedly owes Capital Oil and Gas should be investigated by the EFCC.

“If found to be true, they (Capital Oil) should be paid or it should be net-off against the N9bn owed the Federal Government by Capital Oil and Gas.”

The panel further ordered that Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, the former managing director, NNPC retails, who was sacked while she began an internal investigation into the matter, should be reinstated.

It also recommended that one Adio N. Yinusa, who was indicted for gross inefficiency, but was not punished, should be investigated.

Investigations on Sunday, June 3, revealed that the House had planned to consider the report of the committee, but later deferred it till Tuesday, June 5, and Wednesday, June 6.

A senior official said: “The report will be listed this week for consideration by members in Committee of the Whole”

The report of the panel partly read: “That NNPC Retails should embark on a comprehensive review of all throughput agreements with depots, especially Article 11.1, to remove the lapses usually exploited by depot owners who sell NNPC products without authorisation.

“The report of the review should be submitted to the committee within two months from the day this report is adopted. That NNPC Retails Limited and the PPMC should conduct a quarterly training of all NNPC Retail staff representing it in private depots to improve their knowledge of contract terms.

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“That NNPC Retails should set up an online real-time solution that will require depot owners who buy bulk products to inform NNPC Retails in real-time and the information made available to all stakeholders. The online software should also reflect load-out products from all the depots where the NNPC subsidiaries have throughput agreements.”

Earlier, had previously reported that Ifeanyi Ubah had accused the NNPC of owing his company N16 billion.

Ubah while explaining the role of his company in an alleged disappearance of 82 million metric litres of petrol belonging to NNPC at the lower house said the corporation owed Capital Oil N16 billion.

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