Right of Reply: The Phantom Demurrage Crisis in NNPC

The attention of the Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation , NNPC has been drawn to a recent publication by an online internet news outfit, huhuonline.com / accusing the Hon. Minister of Petroleum Resources and Chairman of the  NNPC Board, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and the Managing Director of the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, PPMC, a subsidiary of the NNPC,   Mr. Sam Okeke of complicity in the phantom accumulation of a certain $400m demurrage.

Scripted in prejudice and cast in flagrant violation of all known laws of objectivity and balanced reportage, the author alleged that the MD of PPMC in collusion with some unnamed foreign vessel owners stalled the discharge of petroleum  products imported by the NNPC until the payment of a purported $400 million demurrage said to have been incurred by the Corporation .

Without proving any grain of evidence to support the claim, the writer alleged that the said demurrage was spiked by the PPMC manipulation through deliberate delay of the so called foreign vessels on the high sea.

The satanic agenda of the write-up was brought to the fore when the author blindly stated that `` the gradual return of long queues at filling stations was enough ground to compel the Petroleum Ministry to grant immediate payment of the debt ''.

Without a doubt there is no prize for guessing that the downstream sector of the Petroleum Industry is experiencing an unprecedented level of stability wrought by the widely acclaimed sanitation of the products supply and distribution channel across the country under the watch of Mrs. Diezani Alison- Madueke.

The result is that incoming vessels do not need to waste time before discharging their products due to the availability of a seamless product corridor thus banishing the ugly episodes of long convoy of vessels and Amanda of ships on the high sea to the dust bin of history.

The NNPC wishes to state that as at present the Corporation does not have any issue with mounting demurrage due to the inability of vessels to discharge products as alleged in the libelous publication.   The Corporation has long taken steps to settle and renegotiate all the old outstanding demurrage payments.

The resort to name calling and character assassination by huhuonline.com without any shred of fact clearly depicts the publication and its promoters as low level rumour merchants.

The achievements of the Petroleum Minister and the MD of PPMC under the last six months are too bright for any satanic write-up to obscure.   

Dr. Levi Ajuonuma
  Group General Manager
  Group Public Affairs Division
NNPC, Abuja        
                                                   Editor's Note:

We make no bones in saying that the top management in the Nigerian petroleum sector is plagued by delusion of grandeur. Otherwise, their spokesman, Mr. Levi Ajuonuma would not have come to the erroneous conclusion that our report was scripted in prejudice and cast in flagrant violation of all known laws of objectivity and balanced reportage.  

According to dictionary.com http://dictionary.com/ , prejudice connotes 'an adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts'. However, weeks before our publication, our editors contacted the honorable minister of petroleum, Mrs. Dezeani Allison-Madueke and NNPC spokesman, Levi Ajuonuma, with facts of the matter. Nevertheless, they failed to provide us with information to the contrary.  

A day before our publication, our editors contacted them again, rather than provide the needed answers, they wished it would go away. Specifically, Mr. Levi Ajuonuma, pleaded with our editors not publish this report. In his words, 'I thought we had an understanding or gentle man agreement'.

In their estimation, placing an advert on our website (huhuonline.com) guarantied them editorial compromises. Now that we have refused to succumb to their inducements, they have resulted to name calling, i.e. 'the publication and its promoters as low level rumor merchants'.

But we make bold to say, that advertising in huhuonline.com is not a license to living La vi da loca (living crazy live).

Our commitment to our readers is paramount, and we owe it them to investigate and report accurately and exhaustively on corporate, political and personal activities involving public and corporate leaders in Nigeria .

Our resolve is towards a greater Nigeria !

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