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The Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) has insisted that the $205,203,891.09 it received from Duke Oil was for products traded.

The PPMC Managing Director, Mr. Umar Ajiya, who stated this in Abuja yesterday, said the products were traded from January 2016 to September 2017.

Ajiya cited the products to include Fuel Oil (low pour fuel oil) and NAPHTHA (several mixtures of liquid hydrocarbons that are extremely volatile and flammable.)

According to the PPMC boss, as a fall-out of the on-going restructuring of the NNPC, it was agreed that Duke Oil be given the two products to sell on behalf of the corporation, in line with its mandate as an international trading company, as well as its wholly-owned subsidiary.

He said: “The current operating model allows the PPMC to pass the volumes to Duke Oil and remit to the PPMC, in both the value of product invoiced and administrative ion charge.”

Ajiya stressed that the arrangement was not intended to create a monopoly, but empower the firm to function properly, adding that there was no money missing anywhere.

He submitted that Duke Oil before now was not operating like it should as an international trading company.

He denied the allegation by the Chairman of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee, Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, that revenue leaked in the oil sector during the period under review.

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While requesting more documents to support the presentation summited to the committee, he denied that Duke Oil did not cooperate with PPMC in making their remittances.

Meanwhile, a former Special Adviser on Petroleum Matters to the ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah, has faulted the mode of acreage award practiced in the country.

He spoke at the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) 2017 pre-conference workshop yesterday in Lagos.The theme of the conference was: “Transforming the oil and gas industry in Nigeria to meet emerging global energy market landscape.”

He said: “The power assigned to the minister weakens the transparency process, because most often, licenses are not awarded based on merit rather, it becomes a situation of “man know man.”

Egbogah canvassed the withdrawal of power from the minister in the transfer of ownership of oil block, as contained in the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB).

To curtail this challenge, Egbogah said potential bids for oil and gas blocks should be made open to the public and award of licences made based on merit, after the company had met the set criteria.

He canvassed the adoption and institutionalisation of a competitive bidding process with strict guidelines, devoid of political influence and manipulation.

This, he said, would provide a platform for both local and foreign investors to grow the industry.

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