Group Petitions Reps to Investigate How NNPCL Paid N140B for Acquisition of OVH Energy Downstream Assets, wants nnpcl mgt suspended

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*****Laments lack of proper investigation to previous probe

A group known as, Nigeria Transparency Council (NTC) has dragged the Mele Kyari led Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) Mgt and NNPCL retail group to the House of Representatives Committee on Downstream Petroleum over alleged shoddy acquisition deal between the company, Nueoil and OVH energy which is alleged to have cost hundreds of billions of Naira caused by alleged over bloated assets with the merger of the acquired company not yet formalised.

The NNPC announced in October 2022 that it had acquired OVH Energy Marketing, owner and operator of the Oando downstream assets, but did not disclose the price at which it bought it and the company that sold it.

The House of Representatives last year set up an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the alleged fraudulent acquisition of OVH by the National oil coy.

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But Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL, appearing before the committee of the House before its dissolution in September, 2023 for an investigative hearing on the allegation, said the acquisition of OVH Energy was properly done, adding that it gave the NNPC over 30 percent control of the downstream sector with a profit of N18.4 billion in the first quarter of 2023, a position which have been disputed by industry players as not backed by any documentary evidence.

Recently, it was disclosed that the National oil coy paid cash amounting to over $325.09 million (N140.559 billion) for the acquisition of Oando-branded retail stations and a reception jetty in Apapa, among other facilities with allegation trailing the acquisition that some of the acquired assets are alleged not to have belonged fully to ovh or licensed.

In a petition submitted to the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources Downstream, Hon.Barr. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere who represents Ideato Federal Constituency, the group’s secretary general Dr. Ayo Olubunmi urged the lawmakers to convene a powerful meeting of their committee to look into the acquisition agreement, alleged assets said to have been bought, the promoters of the nueoil and why nueoil bought OVH within 8 months of incorporation before nnpcl bought OVH from nueoil within weeks with some official of Nueoil working as alleged officials of nnpcl.

The group also urged the lawmakers to look into the evidence of financial transactions plus the valuation reports and the circumstances that led to the emergence of the official of the acquired company emerging as Head of state owned oil company arm( NNPCL RETAIL)

They lamented lack of proper investigation in the previous probe and complained of non-observance of due process in the investigation procedure beacuse the earlier panel didn’t investigate the beneficial owners of the Nueoil, the emergence of Mr Stoks as RETAIL Md, didn’t see any evidence of financial transactions between all the parties, didn’t invite the staff of nnpcl retail Ltd to hear their own side etc

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In the 3 page petition made available to journalists in Abuja, the NTC group urged the committee to recommend to President Bola Tinubu for suspension of the NNPCL leadership led by Mele kyari, the NNPC Retail leadership and the foreigner who is NNPCL MD to enable unbiased investigation of the deal which was done in alleged unclear terms plus detailed investigation of why the merger process years after have been deliberately left uncompleted with OVH still taking NNPCL retail allocation and operating a separate accounting system while nnpcl retail still pays salaries to ovh staff.

The group also raised alarm that until now NNPCL retail and OVH have not formalised the acquisition agreement thereby raising more suspicion on the reals things happening post acquisition.

They wondered why OVH is still trading in its name and receiving products in their names and using revenue from NNPCL retail to pay OVH staff.

The group wants the committee to exercise its powers of oversight and uncover the ongoing shoddy activities going on in NNPCL retail which is a national downstream assets that is key to energy stability and security.

They further urged the committee to investigate all products given to NNPCL retail and OVH and where the payments and revenue went to and also investigate the legal business relationship between both entities.

The group threatened to proceed to court if the committee does not commence public investigation of the acquisition of OVH within the next 10 days while asking the Speaker Abass led leadership to use the house committee on monitoring and evaluation to investigate why the adhoc committee refused to do detailed investigation of this shocking transaction including refusal to see relevant documents of the transaction and closed their eyes to all issues uphill now .

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