The Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has dismissed allegations that its staff collect a N25 per litre mobilization fee from marketers before allocating kerosene to them as lies fabricated by some persons to tarnish the image of the Corporation.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, who challenged anyone with evidence of such payment to tender it so that the staff concerned can be identified and punished.
It would be recalled that a national daily carried a report over the weekend stating that NNPC officials collected bribes amounting to N195bn from marketers before allocating kerosene to them.
“We make bold to state that this allegation is a complete falsehood, callous and malicious. We recall that this is not the first time such unfounded allegations are made against the NNPC. The Senator Magnus Abe-led Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) called all the stakeholders in the downstream sub-sector for a public hearing over similar allegations. No one came out to confirm the allegations,” Dr. Ibrahim stated.
He said that petroleum marketers under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) have come up with statements denying ever paying any amount of money beyond the approved N40.90 per litre ex depot price for kerosene, adding: “Our depots are known, 22 of them across the country. And members of our staff are also known. It will help the system if those making the allegations could furnish us with evidence of extortion so that we could investigate and take necessary action. Until we are given evidence, we maintain that what is reported remains a rumour”.