• Marketers oppose NNPC’s monopoly
Both the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
and major marketers of petroleum products under the aegis of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) are currently at each others throats following the refusal of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to allow major players to also import the essential commodity.
First to throw the salvo last week was the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which accused the marketers of levelling confirmed allegation of corruption against the corporation.
The NNPC had through its group general manager, public affairs, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, described the allegation of manipulation of the fuel importation regime by a mafia within the corporation as false.
But MOMAN also said in a statement that it was totally opposed to making NNPC “to become the defacto sole importer of petroleum products.
Affirming its stand on the contentious issue the association disclosed that it has already “written to the Honourable Minister of Petroleum to state that this situation is not in the interest of the nation or businesses, especially as NNPC controls only 40 to 50per cent of the reception facilities available for importation. As such, the balance of the nation’s import reception facilities are rendered redundant and are not utilised to ensure effective and maximum distribution of petroleum products.
This has a potential for serious supply disruptions.”
But Ajuonuma, said in a statement issued last week that the MOMAN members who were aggrieved by the Federal Government’s decision to allow NNPC take full charge of fuel importation had accused an unnamed clique within the Corporation of feeding fat from millions of litres imported into Nigeria through the daily collection of $500,000 (about N75 million) cut from international commodity traders- Trafigura, Glencore and Vitol, to sustain the importation contracts awarded by its subsidiary, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC).
He described the allegation as cheap blackmail and also described the bribery claim as “a poorly choreographed pack of lies which can not stand due diligence and common sense investigation. Look, $500,000 or N75million commission everyday is a lot of money anywhere in the world.”
So how can anybody collect such kickback as alleged by the major marketers without any trace or tracking in these days of forensic accounting where every dollar paid into the financial system can be traced?’’, he asked.