From Fred Itua, Abuja
The Senate, yesterday, accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of allowing officials and other firms appropriate national resources for their personal use, thereby contributing to the suffering of the people.
It, however, commended the country’s oil company for responding to the motion moved at plenary by Kabiru Marafa, chairman, Committee on Petroleum Downstream Sector, on the theft of petroleum products kept in the farm tanks of two oil companies and urged the corporation to take more radical measures to avoid recurrence.
In a statement by its spokesman, Sabi Abdullahi, the Senate advised the NNPC to go beyond the sacking and redeployment of a few officials and initiate a comprehensive restructuring of its operations.
“The Senate is appalled that NNPC is not contemplating doing something about the involvement of officials of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) which actually played key roles in the missing products case.
“It is instructive that NNPC did not do anything on the case until the matter was raised on the floor of the Senate and the press picked the matter up from the motion. The unauthorised sale of 132 million litres of fuel kept in the storage tanks of MRS and Capital Oil designated as strategic reserves is a grave occurrence. This probably is not the first time it is happening and NNPC must review its operations. It should, in fact, carry out a shake up in the PPMC,” Abdullahi stated.
Following the Senate’s debate of the motion on the theft of the fuel, the NNPC sacked two senior officials and redeployed a few others.
NNPC spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu said the sack and deployment were in line with ongoing reforms the corporation initiated to cleanse it of corruption.
The NNPC lost 130 million litres through a breach in its throughput transactions with MRS and Capital Oil.
However, MRS had returned the product it sold from the stock while Capital Oil is yet to refund the 82 million litres valued at N11 billion it sold.
While Capital Oil insisted that NNPC owed it on past business transactions, the corporation has vowed to recover the products, investigate the breach and set up new modalities to guide its engagements of throughput partners.