By Boluwatife Ezekiel Olaleye
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced that a total of N328.9 billion was recuperated from nine major oil marketers in the country in a year.
Spokesman of the commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.Uwujaren identified the marketers as Conoil Plc, Total Plc, OVH Energy Plc, Oando Plc, Forte Oil and Gas Plc, Mobil Plc, MRS Oil Plc, and NIPCO Oil Plc.
He said the recovery was made by the Kano office of the commission between July 2016 and July 2017.
According to him, the recovery followed a petition against the management of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiary, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC).
He said the petition alleged that N40 billion had been diverted by the major oil marketers in connivance with the leadership of the NNPC and PPMC.
“The EFCC, in a swift reaction, referred the petition to a special task force which swung into action by conducting discrete investigation.
“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 N91.5 billion 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.
“A probe of which further led to the discovery of N258.9 billion.’’
Uwujaren explained that the total amount of debt stood at N349.8 billion following the latter discovery.
He further said that upon conclusion of the preliminary investigation, officials of NNPC/PPMC and all the managing directors of the companies concerned were invited to the Kano zonal office of the commission.
There, he added, their statements were recorded following which the recovery process began.
“So far, a sum of N328.9 billion has been recovered from the major oil marketers. The outstanding debt now stands at N20.7 billion,’’ he said