May 25, 2024

 

Oredola Adeola

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has denied the allegation by an online news platform (not EnergyDay) about the payment of the sum of N20bn to ghost consultants, insisting that – as a responsible corporate organization- the national oil company does not have or deal with ghost consultants.

Garba Deen Muhammad, NNPCL’s spokesman, made this disclosure in a statement on Monday. and seen by EnergyDay.

According to him, the process of engaging consultants in NNPCL, whenever the need arises is clear and verifiable and follow global best practices.

He said emphasised that the claim of a missing N20bn is absolutely false and baseless.

Garba Deen said, “On the Ogun State Government claiming a back duty tax liability of about N18bn, against an NNPC subsidiary, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) Ltd.

“For clarity, PPMC had objected and challenged the claim through its Tax Consultant. Consequently, the Ogun State Government took the matter to court which is not unusual in business circles.

“The matter is currently before the court and NNPC Ltd will prove its case accordingly.”

Sahara Reporter, an online news platform (not EnergyDay) had in its report published recently claimed that over N20 billion was allegedly paid by NNPC under the pretext of paying ghost consultants it hired.

Sahara reported revealed that the information was confirmed by a staff member of the corporation who was not happy with the alleged fraud that was committed by some staff members of the defunct Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) a subsidiary of the NNPC.

The Sahara Reporter’s source cited many instances of direct stealing by the defunct staff of the corporation, including the allegation of a total sum of N1 billion paid by PPMC to its consultant, Messres Safaya, as part of the money she helped them to save on the tax refund demands by the Ogun State government.

The SR’s source claimed that “The present leadership of NNPC stole triple more than their predecessor because the majority of the top management is from a certain part of the country, so there is no check and balances.”

EnergyDay’s check also established that the Ogun State government in a court document also accused the NNPC of immense corruption. Although the case as confirmed by the NNPC is already in the court.

The Ogun state government, in the court documents, showed that Messres Safaya was paid over N1 billion as 10 percent consultancy fee, but no document shows that the State was paid a dime.

EnergyDay however confirmed that the Applicant (Ogun State government) had approached the court seeking the following relief on the subject matter.

It has approached the court to execute the said warrant for the purpose of levying the Respondent in connection with its statutory responsibility to deduct and remit the sum of N8,500,000,000.00 (Eight Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira) being its tax liability and deductions from its Ogun State resident Employees to Ogun State Revenue Service for the year 1999-2020.