The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has described as false an investigation by Premium Times indicting the Corporation of overseeing procurement fraud in slop oil sale, where two highest bidders are said to be the same people at the Port Harcourt Refining Company, PHRC.
But the group did not give PRIMORG details of the transactions making it impossible for independent verification and confirmation.
Following the corruption report, the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG had invited NNPC to its anti-corruption radio programme, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE on RADIO on September 14, 2021, to clarify the fraud cases raised in the investigation, which they failed to honor.
NNPC described the investigation as inaccurate, misleading and taken on the wrong assumption in a letter addressed to the Executive Director, PRIMORG, Okhiria Agbonsuremi by the Corporation’s Group General Manager, Garba Deen Muhammad.
NNPC added that it has made clarifications following the accusation, and emphasized it does not wish to further discuss the subject, which in essence means that NNPC has ruled out any more explanation to the general public in a radio discussion.
There was, however, no available details anywhere including its website where the NNPC published the clarification it claimed to have made following the reports.
It will be recalled that Nigerians had called on President Muhammadu Buhari to swiftly investigate and bring to book perpetrators of procurement fraud in slop oil sales at NNPC during PRIMORG’s radio programme held on September 29, 2021.
Another report by Premium Times said the presidency summoned the Corporation’s Group Managing Director (GMD), Mele Kyari, to the Presidential Villa over the procurement irregularities and corruption of due process some weeks ago.
However, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) is said to be most affected by the procurement fraud at PHRC– particularly those in labour-intensive industries like textiles, cement, fractional distillation industries, rubber processing, food and beverages.
Excerpts of NNPC’s letter to PRIMORG
RE: INVITATION TO RADIO DISCUSSION
We acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 14th September 2021 requesting for an interview on your radio programme by NNPC to throw more light on the alleged report published by Premium Times titled: “NNPC in Procurement Fraud: Two highest bidders in Slop Oil sale are same people”.
NNPC appreciates your interest in the Corporation and the need for clarity on the subject matter, but kindly note that the accusations are inaccurate, taken on wrong assumptions and unfounded with misleading information. However, NNPC has taken a position on this matter as the statement is false. The Corporation has already made its clarification on this false allegation and does not wish to discuss the matter beyond this point.
However, we are happy to engage you on any other topic of interest or trending industry issues. Please accept our best wishes and we look forward to possible collaborations in the future.
Please accept the assurances of my highest consideration and respect.
Garba Deen Muhammad
Group General Manager
Group Public Affairs Division
PRIMORG continues to urge the government and the anti-corruption agencies to investigate the alleged procurement fraud in NNPC with a view to punishing offenders.