Alison-Madueke debunks allegations of Interference in PPMC and PPPRA

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Contrary to insinuations created in some quarters that the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke has been unduly interfering in the day-to- day running of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, (a subsidiary of the NNPC) and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, it has become clear that such is not possible as both agencies are not administratively within her direct supervision. It has become necessary to clear the air of the unfounded allegations making the round.

While the Managing Director of the PPMC reports directly to the Group Managing Director of NNPC, the PPPRA is an agency under the Presidency and does not report to her.

The Group General Manager Group Public Affairs of the NNPC, Dr Levi Ajuonuma, who made this clarification yesterday, explained that it had become imperative to clarify the issues to get all stakeholders to understand the relationship between the Ministry and these agencies so as to dispel the rumours of undue interference.

“Any insinuation to the effect that the Minister interferes with the day-to-day running of either PPMC or the PPPRA is not only unfair, but a blackmail which will not be tolerated.”

On the allegation that the Minister has hijacked the product importation process, Ajuonuma countered that the decision to grant product import permit to prospecting companies is the sole prerogative of the PPPRA through its Chairman Col. Ahmadu Ali (retd.) who does not report to the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

“As the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the Chairman of the board of the NNPC, she is saddled with the duty of ensuring unimpeded supply and distribution of products throughout the country. In the course of carrying out this role, there is the need for interaction with these agencies from time to time. This is to ensure that we do not relapse into the dark days of product scarcity,” he stated.

He said the allegations were aimed at getting relevant authorities to approve brief case and phony companies to import petroleum products into the country, adding: “We wish to state it categorically that the Minister will not allow any such company which fails to meet requisite conditions for participation in product importation.”

The NNPC spokesman called on members of the fourth estate of the realm to always verify their facts before going to press.