Nigeria: How We Shared N182bn Subsidy Fund — Marketers

A new twist was yesterday added to theN1.5trillion subsidy scam probe as five major oil marketers openly told the senate how they shared over N182billion in less than tow years to import fuel only.

It was also revealed how the said cartel would divert subsidized petroleum products to neighboring countries, including Cotonu for fast money.

Meanwhile the senate committee probing the N1.5trillion fuel subsidy scam has directed the oil companies involved in the subsidy scheme details of all transaction between them and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The directive followed fresh discovery on how the oil companies connived with some interest to fix the price of imported petroleum products.

Chairman of the Senate joint committee on the probe of the subsidy scheme Senator Magnus Abe yesterday accused the oil marketers of deliberate attempt to deny Nigerians the benefits of the subsidy scheme.

The major marketers however absolved themselves of any complicity in the alleged N1.5trillion subsidy scam.

Conoil Nigeria Ltd, A. A Rano, ASB Investment ltd; Forte Oil Nigeria and Knight Bridge ltd in their separate appearance before the joint Senate Committee probing petroleum subsidy gave details of business transaction with NNPC running into N182billion

Con-oil told the committee that it got about N46billion from the fund between 2008 and 2011Managing director of the company Mr. Abiodun Wahab raised alarm over the management of the fund in 2011 alone.

Government was reported to have spent N1.7trillion in 2011 alone. But Wahab in his testimony said that the handling of the subsidy fund in 2011 was ‘beyond his comprehension’

A breakdown of the money as shared by the oil majors shows that Conoil limited got N46. 3 billion as payment for importing 799, 621 million metric tons of petroleum product, A A Rano netted N1.2 billion for one approval of importing 10, 000 metric tons, ASB Investment ltd N3.016 billion as payment for 28,123, 066 million metric tons of petroleum, Knightbridge N3 billion also as payment for importing 75, 000 metric tons while African Petroleum N130 billion, with unpaid claims N11 billion was reimbursed by Petroleum Product and Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA after importing 99000 metric tons of petroleum products.

Managing Director of Conoil, Mr. Biodun Wahab in his testimony to the committee said the company joined the subsidy scheme in 2008 and had its first approval from PPPRA to import 12, 153 metric tons of petroleum products.

He said the figure rose to 418, 954 metric tons with reimbursement sum of N27.3 billion by the end of 2011.

Members of the committee questioned the sudden rise in reimbursement claims, alleging that it must be due to the mismanagement of the subsidy scheme.

But Mr. Biodun however clarified that the increment was due to the fluctuation of oil prices in the international market while absolving his company of sharp practices.

He said: “The cost of crude is a function of the fluctuation in the international oil price which you have to manage. When you look at the price of crude today, it is not as the same as 2009, and 2010. There is document to back this, we do not do any sharp practice, we do not share vessels with anybody, and we take oil to Cotonu for ship to ship transfer because of insecurity at the Lagos port.”

Chairman of the Committee, Magnus Abe lambasted the Chief Executive Officer of Knight Bright ltd, Mr. Gregory Enaharo who claim that his logistic company got approval from PPPRA to import 75, 000 metric tons of fuel, with accompany payment of over N3 billion.

Mr. Enaharo had earlier told the committee that the company had no tank farm or retail outlet for distribution of petrol products but however got the approval due to its experience in importing raw materials for oil companies like Mobil oil.

Via Champion

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