The presidency summoned the NNPC Group Managing Director (GMD), Mele Kyari, to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Premium Times reported yesterday.
According to Premium Times, the GMD was summoned to explain how, under his watch, an intricate web was woven by top officials to dispose 30 million litres of slop oil in a manner that violated the nation’s public procurement regulations.
In the wake of the inability of Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri refineries to produce Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) as a result of a major rehabilitation exercise slated to last 44 months, slop oil is the only alternative to LPFO, a product of fractional distillation used to power boilers in manufacturing facilities, including cement factories.
Without slop oil as an alternative, most manufacturing facilities in the country would be shut down with the attendant layoff of thousands of workers.
Consequently, available slop oil in Nigeria is viewed as a national strategic stock. It is this stock that cash-hungry NNPC officials contrived and sold off to export companies who will ship them to overseas end users.
NNPC’s action outraged local stakeholders who considered the transaction as an affront on President Muhammadu Buhari’s policy of supporting local manufacturing industries as part of his post COVID-19 economic recovery plan.
On Tuesday, Mele Kyari was at the presidential Villa in response to a summon by the President, those familiar with the matter told PREMIUM TIMES.
In preparation for an inevitably difficult grilling session, the NNPC GMD, our sources said, quickly called a meeting of all his Group Executive Directors (GEDs) to marshal a defence. It was gathered that he went with a written defence.
PREMIUM TIMES had exposed how the NNPC conducted a controversial bid that saw scarce slop oil ending up in the hands of three preferred bidders, all of them in the export category.
Checks by the newspaper had further revealed that the first two bid-winning companies were owned by the same directors.
Just as Mele Kyari was facing uneasiness on his first questioning session, it emerged that the NNPC GED in charge of refineries, Mustapha Yakubu, and the Managing Director of Port Harcourt Refinery, Ahmed Dikko, remained apprehensive over what fate might befall them. Mr Dikko is said to have masterminded the controversial bid