The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has denied reports that it paid N20 billion to ghost consultants and was involved in the theft of multi-billion naira tax owed to the Ogun state government.
Garba Muhammad, NNPC’s Chief Corporate Communications Officer, clarified the situation on Monday night.
According to him, NNPC Ltd is a responsible corporate entity, and such false publications should be retracted immediately.
“NNPC Ltd read with utmost dismay, a report by an online platform alleging: paying the sum of N20bn to ghost consultants, and theft of multi-billion naira tax due to the Ogun State Government.
“NNPC Ltd wishes to state that as a responsible corporate organisation, it 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 follows 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.”
As a result, the NNPC demanded that the online platform retract the said publication immediately, noting that the platform should now 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.
“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.
“In conclusion, NNPC Ltd strongly advises the said online publication to be mindful of the consequences of its actions before taking them.