The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Wednesday disclosed that the Chairman of Capital Oil, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah, who is being investigated for diverting N11 billion worth of petroleum products belonging to the Corporation, has paid back N2 billion out to the total amount in question.
The Chief Operating Officer, downstream-NNPC, Mr. Henry Nkem Obi, disclosed in his presentation at a two-day investigative hearing organized by the House Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) on the disappearance of petroleum products and the spate of kerosene explosions in the country.
Nkem Obi told the committee that prior to the diversion of the petroleum products by Chief Ubah, NNPC had an agreement with Capital Oil that no party is to tamper with any petroleum products consignment in its custody without the knowledge of the other party.
He said that upon discovering that Capital Oil had diverted the petroleum products in its custody, the Corporation reached out to relevant and sister agencies to help in the recovery of the diverted products.
“We’ve since engaged in the process of negotiations for defaulting party to return products to storage or pay the cash equivalent. Capital Oil has paid N2 billion and negotiations to get the full payment are on-going,” Obi said.
This revelation is coming on the heels of the ultimatum given to Chief Ubah and Capital Oil by the House to appear before the committee unfailingly today to speak on the disappearance of petroleum products worth N11 billion belonging to the NNPC.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Akinlaja Joseph, while issuing the ultimatum, accused Ubah and Capital Oil of evading the invitation from the Committee summoning him to appear and testify. Also expected to appear before the House Committee today is the Managing Director of the NNPC retail.
Earlier, the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, said that the disappearance of the N11 billion worth of petroleum products belonging to the NNPC from the Capital Oil tank farm in Lagos was capable of jeopardizing the nation’s economy by reducing government’s revenue and hampering efforts of the government to exit the economy from recession.