The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, on Tuesday said the corporation has recovered $1.6 billion from some companies fleecing one of its subsidiaries.
Baru disclosed this in Abuja while fielding questions from newsmen after a visit by officials of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria (CIFIPN).
The institute conferred an award of Honourary Fellow and Patron to Baru and solicited partnership with the corporation during the visit.
CIFIPN is an anti-fraud organisation saddled with the responsibility of providing skills to professionals from relevant fields on the use of science and technology to detect, prevent and investigate fraud and also put some measures to prevent future occurrence.
He said that its upstream subsidiary fleeced was the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).
He also said that under his watch, the corporation had made significant progress in terms of fraud detection, prevention and control.
“There is a lot of sanity that has happened in the industry as a result of this. Recently, due to the work, we were able to get the Atlantic companies who were fleecing the NNPC subsidiary, the NPDC, and we got an award for them to refund $1.6 billion to the NPDC, through the arbitration process.
“We have also been able to stem fraud. High profile court cases were been set up to defraud the NPDC.
“If you see the amount of money involved, if you do not have people who are determined to fight corruption, our chances would have been compromised by over $1.6 billion.
“We have had cases, like NNPC versus IPCO, where they are demanding over $400 million, and because of their activities, we were able to settle out of court with them for $37.5 million, which is a saving of several percentages, about less than 10 per cent of the total amount,” he said
Baru added that the recovery was possible as all staff of the corporation and its business partners had imbibed transparency in all areas of their operations.
Commenting on the honours, he assured the body that he would support the institute with his wealth of knowledge to help boost forensic investigation in the country.
“This institute’s intention is quite laudable and conferment of fellows on me will make me more determined to support them and being a patron will make me to share some of the knowledge I have,’’ he said.
Earlier in her remarks, Dr Victoria Enape, the Pro-tem President of CIFIPN, said the institute had watched the GMD with keen interest since assumption of office.
“We are here to sincerely appreciate you for being a champion of anti-corruption in NNPC, especially being a former chairman of the anti-corruption committee and now the chief executive.
“We believe that NNPC should be one of the organisations free of corruption, having somebody like you who is a champion of anti-corruption,’’ she said.
According to her, the institute also recognised NNPC’s partnership with Nigeria Customs Service and Department of Petroleum Resources in the fight against petroleum products smuggling in the country.
This, she said, was commendable, adding that effort to manage oil marketers and maintaining adequate supply of products in the country had shown the high level of transparency and accountability in the operations of the corporation.
She said Nigeria had lost billions of money to fraud, corruption and cyber crime, which had left the country with near empty treasury.
Enape said that fighting corruption must be sustained for the nation to be developed.
“Corruption, fraud and cyber crimes have become an octopus with huge tentacles extending into facets of human endeavours and sparing no one in the process, politics, business and sports,’’ she said.
She solicited the support of the corporation in ensuring that the institute was established for the growth and development of the country. (NAN)