The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria has denied owing the Federal Government N40 billion on petroleum products collected on credit.
The association called for accounts reconciliation to ascertain the alleged indebtedness of marketers to government.
Its Executive Secretary, Obafemi Olawore, made the denial in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Thursday.
Olawore was reacting to allegation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that the oil marketers were indebted to the Federal Government to the turn of N40 billion.
NAN reports that the EFCC, in a statement on July 26, said it uncovered N328.9 billion debt after quizzing the managing directors of nine major oil companies.
They are Forte Oil, Oando, Total, Conoil Plc, OVH Energy Plc, Mobil Plc, MRS Oil Plc and NIPCO Oil Plc.
According to Olawore, the truth is that government is owing marketers huge amounts of money, while marketers are equally owing government, but not up to N40 billion as claimed by the EFFC.
Olawore said: “The agency has forgotten that marketers collect products on credit from NNPC to pay after two weeks as part of our agreement, while product is collected on daily basis from NNPC.
“It is an ongoing commercial arrangement between NNPC and marketers to pay for products collected on two weeks basis.
“We have appealed to government severally to invite us (marketers) for reconcile the account to ascertain the amount being owed by marketers.”
Olawore said government still owed marketers which it had promised to pay, but the stance of marketers was that government should deduct whatever marketers owed from source.
The scribe who refused to state the amount marketers owed government and amount government owed marketers, promised to reconcile the account with MOMAN members before publishing them.
The EFCC, on July 26, said it uncovered the N328.9 billion debt after quizzing the managing directors of nine major oil companies.
Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC spokesman, who disclosed this in a statement, said the recovery was a sequel to a petition against the leadership of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiary, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company.
Uwujaren said the petition was that N40 billion was diverted by the major oil marketers in connivance with the leadership of the NNPC and PPMC.
He said the anti-graft agency referred the petition to a special task force which swung into action by conducting a discrete investigation.
The statement stated: “Findings by the operatives of the EFCC revealed that the oil marketers were actually indebted to the Federal Government to the tune of N91.519 billion between 2010 and 2016.
“Further investigation into the allegation also revealed that the oil marketers had continued to obtain petroleum products from the government without proper payment in violation of the NNPC/PPMC credit facility regulations.
“A probe of which further led to the discovery of N258,928,926,351.93 (two hundred and fifty eight billion, nine hundred and twenty eight million, nine hundred and twenty six thousand, three hundred fifty one naira, ninety three kobo).
“Following the latter discovery, the total amount of debt stands at N349,818,411,556.37 (three hundred and forty-nine billion, eight and eighteen million, four hundred and eleven thousand, five fifty-six Naira, thirty-seven Kobo).
“Upon the conclusion of the preliminary investigation, officials of NNPC/PPMC and all the managing directors of the concerned companies which are NNPC retails: Conoil Plc, Total Plc, OVH Energy Plc, Oando Plc, Forte Oil and Gas Plc, Mobil Plc, MRS Oil Plc, and NIPCO Oil Plc were invited to the Kano Zonal Office of the commission where their statements were recorded following which the recovery process commenced.
“So far, a sum of N328,988,296,990.62 (three hundred and twenty-eight billion, nine hundred eighty-eight million, two hundred and ninety-six thousand, nine hundred and ninety Naira, sixty-two Kobo) has been recovered from the major oil marketers.
“The outstanding debt now stands at N20,765,919,869.48 (twenty billion, seven hundred and sixty-five million, nine hundred and nineteen thousand, eight hundred sixty-nine Naira, forty-eight Kobo).”