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Zenon Denies Allegations Of Underhand Dealings In Importation of Fuel

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SAN FRANCISCO, June 18, (THEWILL) – Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited has denied allegations mainly published in dailies of 19th April 2012, courtesy of revelations of the Federal House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee on the Management of Subsiy Regime, that it did not utilise $232,975,385 Forex proceeds meant for the importation of refined petroleum products.

In a statement released on Monday, the company expressed “deep embarrassment” with the “spurious allegation,” which, it reasoned, was capable of inflicting serious damage to its business integrity and reputation.

“Zenon Petroleum & Gas Company Limited is a law-abiding and responsible corporate organisation and takes serious exceptions to allegations aimed at tarnishing its corporate image,” the statement said. “Whiles we respect the constitutional oversight functions of the House of Representatives, we completely disagree with findings in their report.”

Zenon stated that it imported and supplied Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in 2010. And in fulfilling the obligations, it obtained and filled forms duly certified by the Federal Government of Nigeria (GN) pre-shipment inspection agencies, and issued letters of credit from first-class Nigerian financial institutions (Guarantee Trust Bank plc, UBA plc, Access Bank plc and FCMB plc) to its offshore suppliers for a total value of $372,207,990 as opposed to the sum of $232,975,385.13 presented in the committee’s report.

The company maintained that it discharged the cargo under the supervision of regulatory agencies including PPPRA and DPR, and it was witnessed by globally recognised and certified inspectors, SGS Limited. It added that it received funds, in Naira, which were in turn used to bid for foreign exchange with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the aforementioned banks, using all the exchange control documentation.

“We are therefore surprised by publications in some national newspapers wherein we were listed as one of the companies that obtained foreign exchange in the sum of $232,975,385.13 with questionable utilisation as regards the supply of petroleum products. We believe that the ad hoc committee has not conducted its affairs in a thorough manner and its findings are not only misleading but also damaging to the reputation of established companies like ours ….

“We have not diverted or left unutilised forex collected for the importation of petroleum products as portrayed in the publications, and we have documentations and records to substantiate our position. The allegations and findings of the ad hoc committee against our company are spurious and [are] a complete falsehood arrived at … without proper verification of documents submitted to aid their inquiry.”

The company, in the statement, also said it would fully exercise its rights to protect its integrity and image, in addition to seeking legal redress “for the incalculable damage that has been caused to our reputation by reason of the publications.”