The Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) Mele Kyari has stated that, there was nothing wrong with the process and acquisition of OVH Energy by the company.
He stated this on Friday when he appeared before the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee investigating the acquisition of OVH Energy.
He said the acquisition of OVH Energy was purely a business decision that has began to yield result less than one year after it was done.
Kyari also stated that, NNPC Retails Limited made a profit of N18.4 billion in the first quarter of 2023.
He said, “Acquisition of companies are always within internal processes of the company and every company has its own internal processes.
“In the case of OVH, they had two options. It is either they go to the exchange and sell 100 percent equity or do a management buy out.
“This is not new and this what OVH opted for. We had no idea that they were doing this. They got to the point of sale. We saw the opportunity and waited for the deal to be closed and then latched on it and we are, proud that we made this acquisition.
“We have nothing to hide, but this is a commercial relationship. But we did nothing wrong. We know that there are acquisition that has taken place in this country, far less in scale and value than what we got.
“We have taken this acquisition through all the gamuts of processes and procedures established by the Companies and Allied Matters ActAct, the PIA and memorandum and article of association.So, there is nothing hidden.
“We have seen it in the media that it was a corrupt acquisition and this is far from the truth. It is painful, but we have agreed. To serve the country and it will come at a cost’.
The NNPCL CEO, said that, five years backward, the NNPC Retail Limited highest profit of N6. 593 billion came in 2021.
He added, “But in the first quarter of 2023, after. The acquisition of OVH, we have profit of N18.4 billion.It is nothing because we have expanded, we have more footprint, have better brand and greater capacity in terms of our market share.
“We were struggling to reach 15 to 20 percent in 23 years.But we are hitting 30 percent of market share in less than one year. This is the dramatic change that has happened to this compay as a result of this acquisition. We are proud of this acquisition.”
He further informed the committee that, Petitioners had written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on whether anything wrong took place which the agency investigated and found out that nothing wrong was done.
Kyari further informed that, “The PIA also mandate this company to be the energy guarantor for this country. So, it is not an option for this company to do otherwise.
“It is part of the law that we should protect national interest in way to guarantee energy security. It is very clear that there is huge relationship between energy security and national security anywhere in the world. Countries go to war to ensure energy security.
“It is on the basis of this and to discharge our responsibility as prescribed by the law, we do need to have capacity to have control over the down stream sector of the economy.
“We started NNPC Retail Limited in the year 2000 and until the period of acquiring the OVH chain, we were not able to grow organically. We only had 48 stations that we owned and a mirage of companies that are affiliates all over the country”.
In his final remark,Chairman of the Committee, Abubakar Hassan Nalaraba commended the NNPCL GCEO Mele Kyari for clearing the air on the petition .
He said, that, much is expected from the GCEO as regards the running of the oil and gas sector.
He said, “Let me talk like the president, I don’t envy you,I don’t envy you at all, you requested for the job and so we expect much from you”.
He however said, Kyari could be re-invited for further clarifications adding that there was need to have an interface with him in the course of oversight.
Earlier, the Speaker, Abbas Tajuddeen who was represented by the House Leader, Prof Julius ihonvbare said the investigation was not aimed at witch hunting anybody.
He said, “There is no way the House will witch hunt an agency of government. In the 10th Assembly, there is total commitment to join hands with the executive and other branches of government to reposition and rebuild this country.
” It is not going to be based on, conflict, but shared understand and exchange of ideas, mutual respect and the commitment to doing the right thing.
“There is nothing the NNPC will do that will not attract public interest. This is a very critical one. You may have taken the best decision”.
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