The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it recovered N328.9 billion debt after quizzing the managing directors of nine major oil companies, including Forte Oil, Oando and Total.
The other companies are Conoil Plc, OVH Energy Plc, Mobil Plc, MRS Oil Plc, and NIPCO Oil Plc.
Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesman, who disclosed this in a statement, said the recovery was sequel to a petition against the leadership of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiary, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC).
Uwujaren said the petition alleged that N40 billion was diverted by the major oil marketers in connivance with the leadership of the NNPC and PPMC.
He said the anti-graft agency referred the petition to a special task force which swung into action by conducting discrete investigation.
“Findings by the operatives of the EFCC revealed that the oil marketers were actually indebted to the federal government of Nigeria to the tune of N91,519,485,204.44 (ninety one billion, five hundred and nineteen million, four hundred and eighty-five thousand, two hundred and four naira, forty-four kobo) between 2010 and 2016,” he explained.
“Further investigation into the allegation also revealed that the oil marketers had continued to obtain petroleum products from the government without proper payment, in violation of the NNPC/PPMC credit facility regulations; a probe of which further led to the discovery of N258,928,926,351.93 (two hundred and fifty eight billion, nine hundred and twenty eight million, nine hundred and twenty six thousand, three hundred fifty one naira, ninety three kobo).
“Following the latter discovery, the total amount of debt stands at N349,818,411,556.37 (three hundred and forty nine billion, eight and eighteen million, four hundred and eleven thousand, five fifty six naira, thirty seven kobo).
“Upon the conclusion of the preliminary investigation, officials of NNPC/PPMC and all the managing directors of the concerned companies which are NNPC retails, Conoil Plc, Total Plc, OVH Energy Plc, Oando Plc, Forte Oil and Gas Plc, Mobil Plc, MRS Oil Plc, and NIPCO Oil Plc were invited to the Kano zonal office of the commission where their statements were recorded following which the recovery process commenced.
“So far, a sum of N328,988,296,990.62 (three hundred and twenty eight billion , nine hundred eighty eight million, two hundred and ninety six thousand, nine hundred and ninety naira, sixty two kobo) has been recovered from the major oil marketers.
“The outstanding debt now stands at N20,765,919,869.48 (twenty billion, seven hundred and sixty five million, nine hundred and nineteen thousand, eight hundred sixty nine naira, forty eight kobo).”