… Dismisses Berne declaration report
By Etuka Sunday
The Management of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday attributed the current fuel scarcity in the country to the activities of saboteurs, orchestrated to frustrate government’s efforts.
NNPC said it has observed that the re-emergence of long queues was as a result of hoarding by filling station owners in anticipation of fuel price hike.
The Corporation however cautioned marketers who have being loading petrol from their various depots not to hoard the product as erring marketers would be sanctioned for such sharp practices.
NNPC said there were no plans by the Federal Government to hike price of fuel, urging motorists not to engage in panic buying as there was enough product to last the country for several weeks.
Meanwhile, NNPC has dismissed the Berne Declaration which linked it to several crude oil infractions describing the report as baseless and faulty.
A statement by the Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim quoted the Group Managing Director, Engr. Andrew Yakubu as saying that the allegation of sale of 36% of total federation crude oil to Vitol and Trafigura, NNPC records show that Vitol and Trafigura account for 30.7 million barrels out of the total 341.07 million barrels disposed by the Corporation in 2013 lifting.
He said contrary to the report, selection of buyers of Nigerian crude are done on a transparent and competitive basis that seeks to establish financial and technical capabilities, promotion of Nigerian Content and general quality and safety assurance.
According to him, the selection of traders has standard criteria which evaluate buyers’ facilities, volume of transactions, turn over and financial health of the companies which is applicable to all, including Vitol and Trafigura.
Yakub said, “The ‘Swap Arrangement’ referred to by the Bernes Declaration is a known practice in the industry where equivalent value of product is exchanged for crude oil offtake. This is a typical procurement strategy for supply constraint but resource dependent nations to hedge for supply security challenges. There is no value loss to the federation.”
It would be recalled that the Berne Declaration, a Swiss non-governmental organization in its 2013 report alleged that NNPC was conniving with Swiss Companies to short-change Nigeria of several billions of dollars.