NNPCL dismisses allegations of inflated fuel subsidy payments

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has vehemently denied recent media reports accusing it of inflating fuel subsidy payments by N3.3 trillion.

The allegations surfaced following a report claiming that a forensic audit conducted by the global accounting firm KPMG had unearthed significant discrepancies in the fuel subsidy claims submitted by the national oil company.

According to iWitnessLive, the audit purportedly revealed that NNPCL had overstated its fuel subsidy claims by a staggering N3.3 trillion during the period of 2015-2021.

The primary objective of the audit was to authenticate the legitimacy of the subsidy claims made by NNPCL.

These allegations emerged against the backdrop of statements made by the NNPCL’s Group CEO, Mele Kyari, several months ago. Kyari had asserted that the federal government owed NNPCL a substantial sum of N2.8 trillion in unpaid petrol subsidy payments, which the company had covered using its own cash reserves.

However, in a firm rebuttal issued on Monday by its Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Olufemi Soneye, the NNPC categorically denied any wrongdoing in its subsidy claims to the federal government.

The NNPC emphasized that all its previous subsidy claims are transparent and verifiable. It reiterated that it has dutifully submitted all relevant records and documents to the appropriate authorities and agencies for audit purposes.

The statement reads: “The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) notes with dismay a report in a section of the media alleging that it inflated subsidy claims by N3.3 trillion, and wishes to state that it conducts its businesses accountably and transparently in keeping with international best practices and has, at no time, inflated its subsidy claims with the Federal Government.

“All previous subsidy claims by the Company are verifiable, as relevant records and documents have been sent to relevant authorities and agencies. NNPC Ltd. is neither aware of any audit of its subsidy claims nor the probe ensuing therefrom and wishes to state categorically that both ridiculous claims are products of the febrile imagination of the reporters and their respective media houses.”

Vowing to resist any attempt to drag it into the politics of fuel subsidy, the oil company stressed
that it operates on a commercial basis and in line with the Petroleum Industry Act.

NNPP, therefore, asked newsmen and media houses to exercise restraint and verify any information before publication.

It added: “NNPC Ltd. will resist any attempt to drag the Company into the apparent politics of fuel subsidy as it currently operates on a commercial basis and the express provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

“It is on record that, in line with its Transparency, Accountability & Performance Excellence (TAPE) mantra, NNPC Ltd. has, on several occasions, independently invited external auditors to review its books.

“NNPC Ltd. calls on media practitioners and media houses to exercise restraint and verify information before publication in keeping with the ethics of the noble profession of journalism to avoid misleading the public.”

The NNPC’s statement aims to quell concerns raised by the recent media reports and reaffirm its commitment to accountability and transparency in its operations.

As the nation’s primary oil corporation, NNPC plays a pivotal role in Nigeria’s energy sector, and any allegations of financial impropriety are taken seriously.

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