….As Downstream Committee summons GMD
By Abubakar Liman
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited ( NNPCL) , has disowned letter allegedly written by it to the Senate Committee on Finance as an independent corporation insulated from being summoned by any relevant committees of the National Assembly .
Disowning of the purported letter by NNPCL , concides with summoning of its Group Managing Director ( GMD) Mele Kyari, by Senate Committee on Petroleum ( Downstream ) on Wednesday .
Chairman of the upper legislative chamber’s committee on Finance , Senator Olamilekan Adeola ( APC Lagos West), had penultimate Wednesday during interface with heads of various MDAs , said NNPCL wrote the committee through its liaison officer in National Assembly ( NASS) that it is now a limited liability company insulated from appearances before committees of NASS .
Senator Adeola at the interface , specifically told the NNPCL General Manager Public Affairs , Garbadeen Muhammad that NNPC is 100 percent owned by the Federal government and it can be invited at anytime to appear before the lawmakers for any explanation.
But Garbadeen Muhammad at the sideline of appearance of NNPCL before the Senate Committee on Petroleum ( Downstream) on Wednesday , told journalists that the alleged letter never emanated from the NNPCL.
” After the accusation on the purported letter , we carried out thorough investigation on where such a letter came from and through whose authority but discovered that nothing of such was sent from NNPCL to any committee of the National Assembly .
” We even probed further as regards the authenticity of the letter by taking our liaison officer at the National Assembly to Senator Adeola’ office where the Clerk of the Senate Committee on Finance , changed the narrative from letter to telephone conversation .
” Even at that , we requested for the telephone number of the person who gave such information to the Clerk of the Senate Committee on Finance for required tracking of identity but not given to us .
” The fact of the matter as it is now, is that nobody from NNPCL wrote or called anybody in the National Assembly that the Petroleum Industry Act ( PIA) , has insulated us from appearing before relevant committees of the National Assembly .
” NNPCL is at anytime ready to honour any invitation from committees of the National Assembly as regards its operations on Oil and Gas “, he said .
Meanwhile the Senate Committee on Petroleum ( Downstream) , has summoned the Group General Manager of NNPCL , Mele Kyari to appear before it unfailingly on Tuesday next week by 2pm .
The Committee chaired by Senator Mohammad Sabo Nakudu ( APC Jigawa South West) , said appearance of the GMD before it , will give it required information on steps being taken against oil theft , dwindling revenue , dilapidated state of the Nation’s refineries etc .
The GMD was represented at the rescheduled meeting by Group Executive Director of NNPCL , Adeyemi Adetunji .