Olivia Smith
Tue, Sep 12, 2023 8:10 PM

Investigation into NNPCL and OVH Energy Deal Stalled as Mele Kyari Fails to Appear

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Investigation into NNPCL and OVH Energy Deal Stalled as Mele Kyari Fails to Appear
The investigation by the committee of the House of Representatives into the acquisition of OVH Energy by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has been stalled due to the absence of the CEO, Mele Kyari. Representatives were sent by Mr. Kyari and the CEO of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (MMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed. However, the lawmakers demanded the appearances of Messrs Kyari and Ahmed themselves as the representatives were unable to speak on their behalf. A closed-door meeting will now be held to determine when the CEOs can appear.

The investigation by the committee of the House of Representatives into the acquisition of OVH Energy by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has hit a roadblock due to the absence of the CEO, Mele Kyari. Mr. Kyari failed to appear before the committee, much to the frustration of the lawmakers.

Last week, both Mr. Kyari and the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (MMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed, were summoned by the committee to provide information on the OVH Energy deal. However, instead of appearing in person, both executives sent representatives to the hearing.

The representatives, Yemi Adetunji and Soji Soloye, were unable to speak on behalf of their principals and did not possess the required information for the investigation. This led to the committee demanding the appearances of Messrs Kyari and Ahmed themselves.

Chairman of the Committee, Abubakar Nalaraba, asked the representatives if they were able to provide all the necessary information and speak on behalf of their principals. When they responded in the negative, Mr. Nalaraba ruled that the hearing could not proceed.

Expressing his disappointment, Mr. Nalaraba acknowledged that the committee was already behind schedule and emphasized the importance of progressing with the investigation. He announced that a closed-door meeting would be held with the NNPC Limited representatives to determine a suitable time for Messrs Kyari and Ahmed to appear.

The investigation centers around the acquisition of OVH Energy Marketing Limited's downstream assets by the NNPCL. This acquisition added over 380 filling stations, a reception jetty, lube blending plants, aviation depots, and warehouses to the NNPC's portfolio. However, a previous investigation by PREMIUM TIMES revealed secret deals and a complex ownership structure that placed managerial control of NNPC Retail in the hands of OVH Energy Marketing.

In July, the House directed the NNPCL to suspend the OVH acquisition pending the outcome of the investigation. The current setback caused by Mr. Kyari's absence further delays the proceedings.

The committee's determination to continue the investigation demonstrates their commitment to uncovering the truth behind the acquisition and addressing any irregularities.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-12 News

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