July 23, 2024

Petrol Subsidy scam: Reps quiz Oando, AA Rano, other oil companies, identify 23 unregistered oil companies

Oredola Adeola

Oando Plc, AA Rano, Sahara Energy Resources, Hyde and 57 other oil companies have been linked with the opaque operations surrounding Nigeria’s fuel subsidy activities.

This was revealed during the ongoing probe by the House of Representatives to ascertain the veracity of the over N4.9 trillion, allegedly spent on fuel subsidy as of the Second Quarter(Q2) 2022, estimated to have risen to N6 trillion.

EnergyDay gathered that the need for a fresh investigation in the House was sparked as the government treasury department confirmed that total expenditures on subsidies for the Second Quarter of this year will further drain the economy to a threshold that is not sustainable.

Investigations by EnergyDay revealed that the country spends about N1.243tn monthly to defray subsidy bills on Premium Motor Spirit.

At the Center stage of what has now become Nigeria’s most scandalous example of corruption and unaccountability

The House of Rep. ad hoc committee is investigating oil companies and other parties for their involvement in the crude oil swap, direct sales and direct purchase agreement and petrol subsidy, even as it seeks to extend the ongoing investigation into the fuel subsidy regime between 2017 to 2021.

The committee investigating the subsidy payment, chaired by Hon. Mustapha Aliyu, had during the ongoing investigative hearing made public the lists of 23 unregistered oil companies that participated in the fuel subsidy regime between 2017 and 2021.

The details of the affected companies were contained in a memo sent by Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) with Reference No: RGO/SU/VOL.5/2022/0248 dated Wednesday, July 13, 2022, to the Chairman, Special Ad-hoc Committee on petroleum products subsidy regime.

Meanwhile, the Oando Plc, AA Rano, Sahara Energy Resources and Hyde have all denied involvement in fuel subsidy payments before the

The oil companies said they only lifted crude oil and were not part of subsidy payment by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd.

The representatives of the companies took turns to explain contract deals with the NNPC Ltd. in Abuja after being quizzed by the lawmakers.

EnergyDay gathered that the probe was also extended to unraveling some of the oil marketers involved in the diversion of petroleum products to neighbouring African countries.

Chinedu Okoronkwo, President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) had once denied involvement of his members in the diversion of Petroleum Products.

The IPMAN President said such had been the usual allegation, adding that any marketer found guilty of the act should be treated as a criminal.

Rep. Mustapha Aliyu, the Chairman of the Committee, said some oil companies were in attendance to explain their role in the deal with the Nigerian NNPC Ltd.

Aliyu who read a list containing the name of the individual companies explained that a communication from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), on the request of the committee came back without any information on the affected companies.

He said that committee would write to the embassies of the companies which he said were mostly expatriates to provide the details of the profiles.

Aliyu said there would be questions to answer, adding that the Committee wrote to CAC, requesting the commission to provide it with information on the following companies, about 57 companies.

He said that the committee would also write to their commercial desks of their various embassies if they were expatriates so that they could have their full data.

The International Monetary Fund(IMF) and World Bank have  disclosed that the Nigerian government’s fuel subsidy payouts presently average N500 billion monthly and could hit a record N6 trillion mark by the end of 2022.

This, according to the Funds, has put much pressure on the need for the government to borrow in order to finance the subsidy.