The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) reveals it has recovered a total of N328.9 billion from nine major oil marketers in one year.
Spokesperson of the commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, made the disclosure in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Uwujaren said the marketers include Conoil Plc, MRS Oil Plc, Oando Plc, Forte Oil and Gas Plc, Total Plc, Mobil Plc, OVH Energy Plc, and NIPCO Oil Plc.
He said the recovery was made by the Kano office of the commission between July 2016 and July 2017; adding that the recovery comes after a petition against the management of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiary, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC).
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He included that the petition claims that N40 billion had been diverted by the major oil marketers in connivance with the leadership of the NNPC and PPMC.
“The EFCC, in a swift reaction, referred the petition to a special task force which swung into action by conducting discrete investigation.
“Findings by the operatives of the EFCC revealed that the oil marketers were actually indebted to the Federal Government of Nigeria to the tune of N91.5 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.
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“A probe of which further led to the discovery of N258.9 billion.’’
Uwujaren explained that the total amount of debt stood at N349.8 billion following the latter discovery.
He continued, saying that upon conclusion of the preliminary investigation, officials of NNPC/PPMC and all the managing directors of the companies concerned were invited to the Kano zonal office of the commission.
There, he added, their statements were recorded following which the recovery process began.
According to Uwujaren, “So far, a sum of N328.9 billion has been recovered from the major oil marketers. The outstanding debt now stands at N20.7 billion’’.