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OIL FIRM DRAGS PPPRA BEFORE REPS

By NBF News
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A major player in the oil sector, Capital Oil, has dragged the management of Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), before the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Dimeji Bankole.

PPPRA, according to a petition sent to Bankole by the oil firm, was accused of discrimination in granting of licences to oil marketers.

Capital Oil alleged that some unnamed 'portfolio marketers' were always the favourites of PPPRA at the expense of other core investors in the oil and gas sector.

In the petition addressed to Bankole and made available to Daily Sun over the weekend, Capital Oil had alleged that the management of the PPPRA marginalized some operators in the allocation of petroleum import approvals.

Specifically, Capital Oil told the Speaker such practices sometimes led to unnecessary products scarcity.

With the revelation coming on the heels of an ultimatum to the Federal Government by the Petroleum and Gas Workers Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN), the House was asked to demand from PPPRA the details of beneficiaries of its import approval for the year.

'We have observed with dismay, the agency's manipulation and non-transparency in the administration of the newly introduced Sovereign Debt Instrument, (SDI). These manipulations and lack of transparency are largely underscored by the non-compliance with due process, the disregard of and discrimination against us in the granting of approvals and allocations to portfolio marketers in the importation of petroleum products which became rampant in the second and third quarters of 2010,' the company alleged.

It went further to lament that 'having borrowed and invested billions of naira in a bid to create employment, create multiplier effect and grow local capacity in the Nigerian economy by constructing tank farm, filling stations, acquisition of tanker-trucks, ships and jetties, the PPPRA, under its current leadership, instead of supporting us, has misguided the Federal government through its continuous lopsided petroleum products import approval to portfolio and non-core investors.'

The House was told that such approvals to non core investors had not led to creating employment opportunities neither the growing of local capacities in the local oil and gas sector, thereby seriously 'undermining our efforts to grow the Nigerian economy and support government policies.' 'For instance, in the second and third quarters of 2010, some companies were allocated petroleum products import permit above their requests and installed capacities, some got allocations below their requests and installed capacities while others, including Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, with huge structure and investment got only 15, 000 Mt.

'It is most disturbing and pathetic because when, in the second quarter import approval allocation was withdrawn and cancelled for no cogent reason, Messrs Abiodun Ibikunle and Ahmadu Alli, assured us of double allocation in the third quarter to take care of the second quarter when we had nothing,' it was alleged.

In the foregoing, the company informed the House that in the interest of fair play and transparency, it was important to compel PPPRA to publish the full list of companies that got petroleum products imports approval in the second and third quarters of 2010 along with their installed capacities, quantities applied for, quantities approved by PPPRA, dates of importation, port/depot of discharge, vessels name, quantities imported, Naval/DPR clearances of such vessels, countries of origin as well as the names of the promoters of such companies.