The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has denied media reports alleging that the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) recovered $470.5 million and N8 billion of the corporation’s funds hidden in commercial banks.
It said it runs a transparent account which the Presidency, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) were fully aware of and receive periodic status reports on balances yet to be remitted to Treasury Single Account (TSA) by commercial banks.
The Nigeria Police Force had claimed that the monies belonging to NNPC Brass Liquefied Natural Gas were hidden in some commercial banks and not remitted to the treasury single account in violation of the Federal Government’s directives.
According to the police, “The sum of Four Hundred and Seventy Million, Five Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Nine US Dollars and Ten Cent ($470,519,889.10) belonging to NNPC BRASS/LNG INVESTMENT hidden in some commercial banks after the directives of the Federal Government on TSA.
“The sum of Eight Billion, Eight Hundred and Seven Million, Two Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Four Naira, Ninety-Six Kobo (NGN8,807,264,834.96) monies belonging to NNPC BRASS/LNG INVESTMENT, that was not remitted to TSA Account of the Federal Government was also recovered,” the Police had said in a statement.
But in a statement issued on Friday by NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, the corporation said although a few commercial banks were yet to complete remittance of US dollar deposits to the TSA, it noted that it had no funds hidden in any commercial bank.
The state oil firm explained that the allegation was not only misplaced but equally misleading.
According to Ughamadu, following the implementation of TSA, the corporation had made a report to the Presidency on the failure of some commercial banks to complete transfer of US dollar deposits and a Presidential directive was issued for CBN to ensure that the funds were completely transferred to the corporation’s TSA in US dollars.
“Most of the commercial banks have since complied with the Presidential directive and completed transfer to the Corporation’s Treasury Single Account in US dollars, including the reported $470.5 million.
“On the purported recovery of N8 billion by the Nigeria Police Force, the Corporation is not aware of any change in the subsisting Presidential directive to the effect that all of the US dollar balances must be transferred to NNPC’s CBN Treasury Single Account in US dollars in addition, no such funds have been deposited into the Corporation’s CBN Treasury Single Account.
“Consequently, NNPC’s record of the US dollar funds still yet to be transferred by a few commercial banks cannot reflect the said recovery.
“While the Central Bank of Nigeria executes the Presidential directive to ensure complete transfer of US dollar funds to the Corporation’s CBN TSA, it is pertinent to reiterate our earlier position that NNPC will resist every attempt to subject these funds, which have been in the full view of Government, to five percent whistle blowing fees as this would be unreasonable and a sheer waste of public funds,” he said.
French oil major, Total and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as well as their project partners will launch Egina crude at this year’s Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC) in Singapore later this month.
This was contained in a copy of an invitation to the conference on Wednesday, Reuters reports.
The Singapore’s APPEC, scheduled to hold between September 24 – 26, is one of Asia’s biggest annual petroleum industry gatherings, during which producers, refiners and merchants sign and renew supply deals and exchange information.
Last month, a $3.3 billion worth Egina Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) had sailed from LADOL Island in Lagos to its oil field located in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130 located some 130 kilometers off the coast of Nigeria at water depths of over 1,500 meters.
The oil field was projected to raise Nigeria’s crude oil production by 200,000 barrels per day, an approximate of 10 percent of the country’s total oil production output, when it comes on stream in December.
The project, built by Samsung Heavy Industries of Korea (SHI) for the Egina oil field was primarily operated in Nigeria by the global oil giant, Total, at a cost of $16 billion.
In October last year, the Egina FPSO had sailed from the quayside at Samsung Yard in Geoje, South Korea, before arriving at the Samsung Yard (SHI-MCI FZE quayside) in Lagos in January 2018.
Thereafter, it was fabricated and integrated locally at the yard by Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria Limited to accelerate the pace of Nigeria’s industrial fabric, transfer of technology and make the nation the hub of FPSO integration in Africa.
The FPSO, weighing close to 220,000 metric tons and measuring 330 meters long by 60 meters wide, is reputed as the largest ever built by Total.
Also, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Aramco will team up with South Korean refiner S-Oil Corp for a joint reception at the conference, according to two industry sources.
Aramco became the single largest shareholder of S-Oil in January 2015, part of its drive to expand its footprint in the downstream petroleum sector and establish commercial offices in global oil trading hubs like Singapore.