The Rift that Never Was

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Yakubu

Ohi Alegbe, group general manager, group public affairs division, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, dismisses media reports insinuating that there is a strained relationship between Diezani Alison-Madueke, petroleum resources minister, and Andrew Yakubu, group managing director of the corporation

By Anayo Ezugwu  |  May 5, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has dismissed the insinuations in some sections of the media that there is a misunderstanding and phantom frosty relationship between Diezani Alison-Madueke, minister of petroleum resources, and Andrew Yakubu, group managing director of the corporation. The corporation said that the two key figures in the oil and gas industry are in a harmonious working relationship.

In a press statement, Ohi Alegbe, group general manager, group public affairs division, NNPC, described the reports as a figment of the overheated imagination of the authors. He said the minister of petroleum resources and the NNPC in the last few months have heeded countless number of summons from the National Assembly wondering why the media would go to town with the report that the minister was doing everything to thwart the proposed investigation into the alleged N10 billion purportedly expended on the charter of jets by the corporation.

The NNPC spokesman maintained that the minister and the corporation are putting together all the documents that the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts had requested for, stressing that at the end of the probe, the minister and the corporation would be vindicated.

Alison-Madueke
Alison-Madueke

Alegbe averred that the corporation’s boss was in London last week for the board meeting of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, saying the NNPC would remain focused on its core mandate of guaranteeing energy sufficiency for the country. Alegbe dismissed the reports in their entirety and implored media practitioners to adhere to the ethics of journalism which holds facts as sacred and leave out whatever is in doubt..

Meanwhile, in a deft move aimed at sanitising the nation’s fuel supply and distribution channel, the minister has reeled out measures to ensure round-the-clock availability of petrol across the country.  Under the arrangement, the minister has approved the allocation of a total volume of 1, 854, 314 metric tonnes of petrol as supplementary volumes for first quarter and second quarter of 2014.

Alegbe explained that the supplementary volume for first quarter is 750, 000 metric tons while the second quarter volume is 1,104,318 metric tons. He noted that whilst the first quarter supplementary volume is designed to complement the earlier allocation in addition to covering any under delivery by marketers due to unforeseen financial challenges, the second quarter is in consonance with the national consumption pattern of 40 million litres per day.

The NNPC spokesman also noted that the second quarter would also capture a 23 percent upper tolerance in the event of default or slippage into July. “There are 27 oil marketing companies with proven performance records enlisted in respect of Q1 deliveries. For Q2 (June only), there are 40 marketers with good performance records and whose facilities are functional. The idea of June only is to revert back to the normal quarterly sequence, i.e. July-September and October-December,” he said.

On measures to ensure full compliance in line with the aspiration of zero fuel queues, Alegbe noted that the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, the body with the statutory responsibility in this regard has inserted a provision in the allocation document which allows for the deduction of equivalent volume from the defaulting marketer’s subsequent allocation in event of slippage or default.

He noted that the PPPRA, NNPC and its downstream subsidiary, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, as well as the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, are working in concert with other key downstream operators to ensure the realisation of the zero fuel queue’s aspiration of the petroleum resources minister.

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