Friday, 14 July 2017

Despite N9bn debt, Capital Oil still creditworthy - NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says Capital Oil is creditworthy despite the N9.1 billion debt owed by the company.
Ibrahim Juma Dansure, executive director, finance and accounts, NNPC retail, made this statement while speaking at the investigative hearing of the alleged diversion of petroleum products.
Dansure said negotiations were ongoing between the department of state services (DSS), economic and financial crimes commission(EFCC), corporation and the oil firm to ensure an effective payment plan.
He said Capital Oil has admitted to diverting 84.89 million litres of petroleum products belonging to NNPC without the corporation’s approval adding that there was no basis to question the creditworthiness of the company.
The value of the diverted products was put at N11.14 billion at a rate of N131.28 per litre.
The NNPC official said there was no dispute about the volume of the products but both companies have not agreed on the actual value of the product.
While NNPC claims N131 per litre, Capital Oil alleges N120 per litre, with both sides accusing each other of breaching their contract.
NNPC said the company traded its oil without authorisation while the latter insisted that no clause in their agreement forbids it to tamper with products as long as it is made available when needed.
Ifeanyi Ubah, managing director, Capital Oil, insisted that his company had not committed any crime, adding that NNPC has been indebted to the company since 2015.
“Everything we have done to this point is within the purview of the dynamics of the business practice in throughput storage management worldwide which has been in existence over the nine years of our business relationship with the NNPC,” he said.
“The contract allows us to use stock in our tanks so long as we are able to return our customers within seven days of their demand and therefore such activity cannot under any stretch of imagination constitute stealing or any crime whatsoever.
“Most unfortunate is the manner in which our mutual commercial issues were too quickly released to the media by NNPC without regards to the confidentiality of the transactions.”
He said the unjustifiable action of the NNPC has made his company lose goodwill and sack 200 workers as a result of its shutdown.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to reiterate that we have committed no crime, rather it is the NNPC group that has committed a wrong by destabilising our company.”
Ubah had been arrested by the DSS on May 6 over the diversion of petroleum products. He was released after five weeks in detention.

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