16th July, 2010
The Group General Manager Group Public Affairs of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,NNPC, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, has debunked the allegation made against the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, that she interferes in the day-to- day running of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, (a subsidiary of the NNPC) and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency
Ajuonuma, who clarified that both agencies are not under her direct supervision yesterday, explained that it has become imperative to let all stakeholders understand the relationship between the Ministry and these agencies.
HeÂ said the Managing Director of the PPMC reports directly to the Group Managing Director of NNPC, while PPPRA is an agency under the Presidency, adding that, â€œAny insinuation to the effect that the Minister interferes in the affairs of PPMC orÂ PPPRA is not only unfair, but a blackmail which will not be tolerated.â€
Ajuonuma also refuted the allegation that the Minister of Petroleum has hijacked the product importation process.
He disclosed that the decision to grant product import permit to prospective companies is the sole prerogative of the PPPRA through its Chairman, Col. Ahmadu Ali (retd.) who does not report to the Minister of Petroleum Resources.
â€œAs the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the Chairman of the board of the NNPC, she has the responsibility to ensure unimpeded supply and distribution of products throughout the country. In the course of carrying out this role, there is the need for interaction with these agencies from time to time. This is to ensure that we do not relapse into the dark days of product scarcity,â€ he stated.
He said the allegations were aimed at getting relevant authorities to approve briefcase and phony companies to import petroleum products into the country, adding: â€œwe wish to state it categorically that the minister will not allow any company which fails to meet requisite conditions to participate in product importation.â€
The NNPC spokesman called journalists to always verify their facts before going to press.