Members of the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee probing Refined Product Exchange Agreement/Crude Oil Swap were shocked at yesterday’s hearing when the newly appointed managing director of Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, told them that there was no document to show that there were other processes taken other than presidential and ministerial directives regarding lifting of oil in the oil swap deals between Duke Oil and Trafigura.
“We don’t know under what circumstances it (the contracts) was done as all of us are new; most of the dealings were done before our appointment.
“Before us, a lot of things happened; we met a lot of things as inconclusive, and this has led us into reconciliations which are still ongoing.
“We discovered that some contractual agreements were not favourable to PPMC, which was why we went into the reconciliations. I don’t want to jump into conclusions, but I should be clear that oil swap is practised globally,” she said.
When the committee asked if due process was followed in the selection of trading companies involved in the deals, the Petroleum Resources Ministry’s team said records at its disposal showed that the arrangement was carried out through presidential approvals.
The committee requested to see the presidential approval in question and the PPMC eventually presented one, but this was rejected by the committee on the ground that it was a wrong approval: it was an Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA) and not an oil swap agreement.