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No Rift Between Petroleum Minister, GMD, Says NNPC

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As Diezani Declares Operation Zero Fuel Queue
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, April 20, (THEWILL) â€' The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said on Sunday that there is no rift between the Petroleum Resources Minister and Chairman of NNPC Board, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, and the NNPC Group Managing Director , Engr. Andrew Yakubu.

Maintaining that the duo are in harmonious working relationship, NNPC dismissed insinuations in some quarters of a phantom frosty relationship between the two key figures in the oil and gas industry.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, described the reports as a figment of the overheated imagination of the authors.

Alegbe said the Petroleum Resources Minister and NNPC in the last few months have heeded countless number of summons from the National Assembly wondering why the media would go to town with the report that the Petroleum Resources Minister was doing everything to thwart the proposed investigation into the alleged N10billion purportedly expended on the charter of jets by the Corporation.

Alegbe maintained that the Minister and the Corporation are putting together all the documents that the House of Representatives Committee on Public Account had requested for, stressing that at the end of the probe, the Minister and the Corporation would be vindicated.

Alegbe averred that the GMD of the Corporation was in London last week for the board meeting of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, saying NNPC would remain focused on its core mandate of guaranteeing energy sufficiency for the country.

Dismissing the reports in its entirety, Alegbe implored media practitioners to adhere to the ethics of journalism which holds facts as sacred and recommends that when in doubt, leave out.

In another development, the Petroleum Resources Minister has reeled out measures to ensure round the clock availability of petrol across the country.

Under the arrangement, the Minister has approved the allocation of a total volume of 1, 854, 314 metric tonnes of premium motor spirit known as petrol as supplementary volumes for first quarters 2014 and second quarter 2014 June only delivery.

Alegbe, in the same statement, explained that the supplementary volume for Q1 quota is 750, 000 Mt and the Q2 June only volume is 1, 104, 318. He noted that whilst the first quarter supplementary volume is designed to complement the earlier allocation in addition to covering any under delivery by marketers due to unforeseen financial challenges, the Q2 (June only) quota is in consonance with the national consumption pattern of 40 million litres per day.

The NNPC Spokesman also noted that the Q2 quota also captures a 23 percent upper tolerance in the event of default or slippage into July.

'There are 27 oil marketing companies with proven performance records enlisted in respect of Q1 deliveries. For Q2 (June only), there are 40 marketers with good performance records and whose facilities are functional. The idea of June only is to revert back to the normal quarterly sequence, i.e. July-September and October-December,'he said.

On measures to ensure full compliance in line with the aspiration of zero fuel queues, Alegbe noted that the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, the body with the statutory responsibility in this regard has inserted a provision in the allocation document which allows for the deduction of equivalent volume from the defaulting marketer's subsequent allocation in event of slippage or default.

He noted that the PPPRA, NNPC and its downstream subsidiary the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, as well as the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, are working in concert with other key downstream operators to ensure the realisation of the zero fuel queues aspiration of the Petroleum Resources Minister.