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The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has debunked the story that 48 million barrels of crude oil were stolen, says that the report is an attempt to "blackmail and extort" the Federal Government.
A report had surfaced claiming that 48 barrels of crude oil were stolen by officials of the NNPC after a whistle-blower had discovered the illegal activities within the corporation, following which the life of the whitstle-blower was threatened.
Oil firm, Samano Sa De CV, had said that it had entered an agreement with NNPC, with the knowledge of the Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, and the late Chief of Staff to the president, Abba Kyari, stating that NNPC had agreed to give a five percent cut if the claim turned out true.
In a statement by the NNPC through its legal counsel, Afe Babalola, the corporation dismissed the allegations, stating that it was impossible for impossible for that amount of crude oil to "disappear without any trace."
The statement read, “The management of the corporation states emphatically that these publications are replete with falsehoods, offensive, gold-digging and a calculated attempt by the said SAMANO SA DE CV (SAMANO) working in concert with its local and international agents to intimidate, blackmail and extort money from the Federal Government of Nigeria and NNPC. Given the attention which these publications have generated, NNPC deems it necessary to make the following clarifications.
“SAMANO first contacted officials of the Federal Government of Nigeria sometime in 2015 indicating that it had been approached by an unnamed group in the People’s Republic of China to buy 48 Million Barrels of Nigerian Crude Oil which they believed to have been stolen from Nigeria. According to SAMANO, this crude had been stolen and shipped to China before the inception of President Buhari’s administration in 2015.
“SAMANO requested that it be allowed to purchase the stolen crude after its recovery by the Federal Government.
“Shortly thereafter, SAMANO indicated that it was not interested in buying the said stolen crude as it only obliged the Federal Government with the information to assist the President Buhari-led administration’s fight against corruption.
“The Federal Government and NNPC receive hundreds of spurious claims of this nature daily, and they always turn out to be false.
“NNPC also believed that based on the operations and state of the international crude oil market in 2015, it was impossible to ship 48 Million Barrels of Crude Oil from Nigeria to China without any record.
“For context, as of 2015, the daily production of crude oil in Nigeria was below 1.6 million barrels.
“Therefore, 48 million barrels of crude oil would have been the total production capacity of the country for a whole month. It was and remains simply impossible for one-month crude oil production for the entire country to disappear without any record or trace from the shores of the country.
“During this fact-finding trip to China, it was discovered that SAMANO’s claim was false as there were no 48 Million Barrels of stolen Nigerian Crude Oil or any stolen Nigerian Crude Oil in any port, terminal or storage facility in China.”
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