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Corruption at the NNPC, over the years, seems to be defiling all interventions by successive administrations in Nigeria as our investigation have revealed that corruption in the corporation is at an all-time high.
From our interaction with a cross section of stakeholders in the oil and gas sector we discovered that efforts to curd corruption in the corporation by the President Buharis’ administration is not yielding the desired result as staff of PPMC/NNPC have devised new ways of extorting monies from petroleum products marketers.
Adebo Audu, an independent marketer in Warri, Delta state, South South Nigeria, revealed to our correspondent that staffs of PPMC/NNPC are responsible for the intermittent scarcity of the petroleum products. He said “PPMC staffs are frustrating Independent Marketers, why will they ask for a percentage of our profit before giving us allocation and when we refuse right in our presence they will tear the allocation. They only give product allocation to marketers that have given them a share of their profit upfront”.
The rot, in NNPC, in recent times was blamed on, Kachikwu Ibe, the Minister of state for Petroleum who recently said the corporation was in the process of building 109 additional NNPC Mega station. While a section of the industry see this as a welcome development another section however see it as an unnecessary waste of scarce resources, yet another section see it as a plot to destroy IPMAN, Independent Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Association Of Mega Filling Stations Owners Of Nigeria (AMFSON).
Most Petroleum Products Marketers believe that this move by Kachikwu Ibe, was borne out of selfishness and wickedness, and flagrant disregard for the rule of law. A high ranking member of IPMAN in Kaduna wondered why the minister was thinking of establishing more mega stations when they have not been able to satisfy NNPC affiliate stations with products.
While complaining about the unwholesome practices at the PPMC/NNPC under the watch of Kachikwu, he said the minister seem to be superintending over a new cabal at the corporation who specialize in extorting monies from IPMAN/ AMFSON members before issuing allocation of petroleum products. He lamented that he is given two allocations of Petrol (PMS) monthly and the profit from each truck is 80 thousand naira and asks “How can 160 thousand naira pay all my staff, service and maintain the stations and still keep me in business?”
An executive of IPMAN in Kaduna, Bako Abdullahi Yelwa, opined that “for the PPMC to sue IPMAN to court, claiming that they don’t know us and they don’t have any business with us speaks volumes. It is under Kachikwu Ibe that we are hearing this, how can you claim you don’t know us and you have been doing business with us for over 30 years, Is it because he knows that we are the only ones that can expose all his corrupt practices since he was made the GMD and now the minister? More so, all the kerosene allocations he claimed to have allocated to marketers, since he became minister, are allocations he gave to his relations, friends and cronies. I challenge anybody to ask any marketer if they have gotten allocation”
Similarly another Indigenous marketer, who does not want his name mentioned, described Kachikwus’ achievements as ignoble saying “There’s nothing to carry home about Kachikwus’ 6 months in office, his only achievement are confusion and contemplating the award of contacts for building of new empty PPMC/NNPC Mega filling stations with the aim of exterminating the existing Indigenous Independent Marketers despite their huge contributions towards the growth and development of the Nation”.
He further said “With the present crashing down of crude oil price globally to its worst level of below $35 per barrel, Kachikwu should concentrate on constructing new simple modular Refineries & hasten to reactive the existing ones so that our local production can rise to cope with the nation petroleum products demands or even beyond. This will create more employments opportunities for many Nigerians in addition to boosting the nations’ economy. Kachikwu doesn’t care”.
He concluded by saying that “No wonder, one can clearly understand the motives behind Kachikwus’ desperate efforts to destabilize the Indigenous Independent Petroleum Marketers in Nigeria and cover his masters looting and cheating to Nigerians”.
While we await outcome of the suit instituted against IPMAN & by PPMC/NNPC we will however advice President Mohammadu Buhari, who is also the minister of petroleum resources, to put on hold all plans to build more NNPC mega stations until all refineries have been turned around, he should ensure that all independent marketers and PPMC/NNPC affiliate stations are supplied adequately with products and he should curb the new Cabal in the Oil & Gas Sector, made up of PPMC/NNPC staffs, from frustrating his efforts to rid the petroleum sector of corruption.