NNPC, PPMC shun House Committee probe
…House issues November 18 deadline
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and one of its subsidiaries, Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) have refused to honour the invitations of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Refined Products Exchange Agreement/Crude Oil Swap.
The Ad hoc Committee, set up to investigate the operations of the NNPC oil swap agreement with oil traders accused these agencies thwarting the investigation by their continued absence.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, briefing journalists recently in Abuja, explained that six agencies were invited to provide relevant documents and make submissions to the committee, and while three of them have complied, the NNPC, its crude oil division, and PPMC are yet to do so.
The other agencies which have since complied with the committee’s directives are Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
Mohammed (Kwara APC) issued a November 18, 2015 noon deadline to the defaulting agencies to comply with the committee’s directive else, “the full weight of the law as enshrined in the constitution will apply even if it means issuing a subpoena to them to appear here.”
He disclosed that the committee had had to send a reminder to the agencies, who responded last Tuesday, asking for a week, to provide the documents. He however described their delay as ‘irresponsible’ since the required documents, are already in their possession.
Some of the documents demanded included all documentation in respect of the contract deeds, award, transfer of crude, receipts of products and completion of contracts, annual reports from 2005 to date, Swiss Traders OPV in Nigeria Report, revenue losses if any, evaluation of the performance of the swap policy, and any other document that may assist the committee in its assignment.
“We want to use this medium to send a message to the Minister of Petroleum and the Minister of State Petroleum, that the most talked about change has not been effected in the NNPC, the rot is still there because what we have witnessed in the last few days is a clear case of irresponsible behaviour for those who should have the figures and facts to aid this investigation.,” Mohammed said.
The Adhoc committee was set up following a motion sponsored in June 2015 by Hon. Michael Enyong (AkwaIbom PDP) who alleged that the country has lost considerable revenue, from the oil traders involved in the crude oil swaps and Offshore Shore Processing Agreements (OPAs).