NNPC Washes Hands Off Alleged Indian $25m Oil Block Cash … Reaches Agreement with Ghana On Modalities to Settle Debt

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has condemned the linking of its name with the failed bid by an Indian company, Oil and Natural Gas Corp-Mittal Energy Limited, to acquire an oil block and the consequent non-refund of the signature bonus it paid for the deal.
It also said the Federal Government has reached an agreement with Ghana on the modalities to settle the outstanding N33.8 billion owed by the Volta River Authority (VRA) on gas supplied for power generation by a Nigerian company, N-Gaz.
The Corporation, in a statement signed by Ohi Alegbe, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC Towers and made available to journalists, explained that the reports linking it with the transaction showed a high level of ignorance on how the oil and gas industry in Nigeria works and therefore wishes to clarify as follows: “Our attention has been drawn to the repeated reports linking the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation with the failed attempt by a certain Indian company, Oil and Natural Gas Corp-Mittal Energy Limited (OMEL), to acquire an oil block during the 2006/2007 oil bid round and the consequent failure to get a refund of the funds it committed to the deal.
“We wish to clarify that NNPC is not the statutory body saddled with the responsibility of organizing bid rounds and so could not have received the alleged amount of $25 million or any payment from OMEL for the transaction.
“We find the deliberate attempt to drag NNPC into the various allegations surrounding the transaction as mischievous and unfortunate. We urge those who are interested in the story to seek clarification with the relevant agencies responsible for conducting bid rounds and to whom OMEL may have paid the alleged fee”.
The highlight of the agreement between Ghana and Nigeria is that the total sum of gas supply debt will be cleared by February 2016 at the latest.
The agreement which was reached on Monday between a team led by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and the President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, stipulated that VRA will pay the balance of August and September invoices by October 31 at the latest.
It was also agreed that all other supplies as from October will be paid for on or before due date while the backlog of arrears from 2012 will be defrayed by February 2016.
It would be recalled that Nigeria had threatened to cut gas supply to Ghana by 70% over a $181 million debt that had accumulated over the years.
The Ghanaian Minister of Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, had led a delegation to Abuja last week to hold talks with Nigerian authorities with a view to resolving the issue.
N-Gaz is a joint venture company owned by NNPC, Shell and Chevron that delivers gas through the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAGPCo) to Ghana.

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