Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) last night stated that it read with utmost dismay, a report by an online platform alleging that it paid the sum of N20 billion to ghost consultants and was involved in the theft of multi-billion naira tax due to the Ogun state government.
The NNPC in a statement by its Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Garba Muhammad, stated that as a responsible corporate organisation, the NNPC does not have or deal with ghost consultants.
“At NNPC Ltd, the process of engaging consultants whenever the need arises is clear and verifiable and follow global best practices.
“It is therefore unfortunate that for whatever reason, the said online platform would make such a grievous allegation, mindless of the consequences of such actions. The claim of a missing N20bn is absolutely false and baseless,” it added.
The NNPC, therefore demanded that the online platform retracts the said publication immediately; noting that going forward, the platform should verify its facts before going to press.
“The second component of the said unfortunate report is related to Ogun State Government claiming a back duty tax liability of about N18 billion, against an NNPC subsidiary, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) Ltd.
“For clarity, PPMC had objected and challenged the claim through its tax consultant. Consequently, the Ogun State Government took the matter to court which is not unusual in business circles,” it stressed.
According to Muhammad, the matter is currently before the court and NNPC Ltd will prove its case accordingly.
In conclusion, NNPC advised the said online publication to be mindful of the consequences of its actions before taking them.
“For a matter that is already in court, as admitted by the online publication, it is sad that any medium can arrive at such subjudice conclusions as shown by the actions of the online medium,” it maintained.