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Monday, 22 February 2016

Ex-Minister, Deziani Forced To Come Home Over $2b Crude Oil Swap Deal

The House of Representatives has summoned a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to appear before it in continuation of the probe into how she extended contracts for crude oil worth $24 billion without valid agreements.
The House reached the conclusion to summon Alison-Madueke on Monday and a letter to that effect had been sent to her.
The letter was despatched hrough the office of the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and she is to appear for grilling on March 2.
This development was confirmed on Monday by the Chairman of the House Ad hoc Committee on Crude Oil Swap, Hon. Zakari Mohammed.
Mohammed said: “Yes, she has been asked to come on March 2.
The letter left the secretariat today, February 22.”
Alison-Madueke is at present in the United Kingdom where she is attending to her health.
She is down with cancer.
So also is she being probed by the Police in the United Kingdom over allegations of money laundering.
Her international passport is also said to be with the London Police.
The controversial crude oil swap deal was signed by the NNPC in 2011 with two firms, Duke Oil and Tranfigura. The contracts were executed between 2010 and 2014.
The NNPC was allocated 445,000 barrels of crude daily to refine for domestic consumption.
However, since the country’s refineries were not working then, the NNPC exchanged part of the crude for refined products.
It contracted Duke Oil and Tranfigura for this purpose. Duke Oil is a subsidiary of the NNPC, while Tranfigura is an offshore firm trading in Nigeria’s crude, but does not pay tax to the Federal Government.
Duke Oil and Tranfigura got the initial swap contracts in 2010 to last one year.
However, after the contracts expired in 2011, Alison-Madueke was said to have approved an extension of the contracts to run till 2014 but no valid agreements were signed with the firms.
The contract was also said to have gone beyond the approval limit of the former Minister.
Her approval limit had been put at N100 million.
Anything above that should have gone to the Federal Executive Council for approval.
The Mohammed-led committee had last week grilled three former GMDs of the NNPC.
Those grilled were Austin Oniwon, Andrew Yakubu and Joseph Dawha.
They all confirmed the crude oil swap contracts. They equally admitted it was executed without formal contracts.

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