The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has admitted that, contrary to what one online publication claimed, it did not pay ghost consultants N20 billion.
This was contained in a statement issued on Monday, April 3, by the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Ltd, Garba-Deen Muhammad.
It reads, “NNPC Ltd read with utmost dismay, a report by an online platform alleging: paying the sum of N20bn to ghost consultants, and theft of multi-billion naira tax due to the Ogun State Government.
“NNPC Ltd wishes to state that as a responsible corporate organisation, it does not have or deal with ghost consultants. At NNPC Ltd, the process of engaging consultants whenever the need arises is clear and verifiable and follows global best practices.
“It is therefore unfortunate that for whatever reason, the said online platform would make such a grievous allegation, mindless of the consequences of such actions.
“The claim of a missing N20bn is absolutely false and baseless.”
The NNPC demanded that the online media platform should retract the said publication, stressing that the medium should verify its facts before going to the press.
NNPC said the second component of the said report was related to Ogun State Government claiming a back duty tax liability of about N18bn, against an NNPC subsidiary, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company Ltd.
“For clarity, PPMC had objected and challenged the claim through its tax consultant. Consequently, the Ogun State Government took the matter to court which is not unusual in business circles.
“The matter is currently before the court and NNPC Ltd will prove its case accordingly.
“In conclusion, NNPC Ltd strongly advises the said online publication to be mindful of the consequences of its actions before taking them.”