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Reps demand details of consortium partnering NNPC in crude oil contract

The House of Representatives has demanded the details of an Oil Consortium involved in the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Direct Sale Direct Purchase…

The House of Representatives has demanded the details of an Oil Consortium involved in the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) arrangement.

This followed a resolution by the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee investigating the daily consumption of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) in the country, Abdulkadir Sa’ad Abdullahi.

The resolution followed submissions by the representatives of the consortium at the investigative hearing on Wednesday.

The consortium which consists of three companies namely; Ashgroup Energy Ltd; Jack Energy Solutions Ltd and Vitol SA, a Switzerland based company, entered into the DSDP agreement with the NNPC Ltd.

The DSDP agreement was a scheme introduced by the NNPC Ltd in which oil companies lift crude oil and bring in same value in refined products into the country.

The consortium was represented by the Commercial Manager, Ashgroup Energy Ltd, Nazifi Alhassan and Murtala Baloni, Head, Public Affairs, Mansel Commercial Company, an affiliate company linked to Vitol SA.

However, members of the committee were not satisfied with the explanations given by Baloni about the involvement of the consortium and the role of Mansel in the scheme.

A member of the committee, Nkem Abonta (PDP Abia), who objected to the operations of a foreign company that failed to avail the committee with information on a transaction in Nigerian crude, said the consortium needed to be further scrutinised regarding the DSDP arrangement.

The lawmaker berated Vitol SA over the letter sent to the committee requesting that, the National Assembly should write their request through the Swiss Embassy to get the records.

Citing a similar request by the Senate, the company stated that, the communication went through the same channel and all the required information was provided to the Senate committee.

The representative of the company emphasised that, as stated in the letter, Vitol SA will run foul of a particular Swiss law if it divulges the information without the consent of Swiss authorities.

Baloni reiterated that, the company is ready to provide all the necessary information regarding the DSDP arrangement with the NNPC.

However, angered by the response, Abonta said the partners in Nigeria, particularly Mansel, should be invited to explain.

After the interactions with the representatives of the consortium, Chairman of the committee, directed the Clerk to write a letter inviting the Managing Director (MD) of Mansel Commercial Company Ltd to appear before the committee next Tuesday.

Representative of the company, Baloni, promised to come along with the MD on the appointed date with all the necessary documents as requested by the committee.

Similarly, the committee has also directed Oando Plc to avail it with the details of crude lifting, importation of refined products and other information as regards the DSDP arrangement.

Oando Business Development Manager, Mukhtar Danjuma, who appeared before the committee, promised to bring all the needed documents.

Earlier, the committee chairman read out a letter sent by the General Manager, Corporate Development, Oando Plc, Effanga Effanga explaining his inability to attend the sitting.

Other oil companies also appeared before the ad-hoc committee during its sitting on Wednesday.