Two days after the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited (NPDC) admitted it short-changed the Federal Government, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc has denied ever doing same. Both companies were listed as co-conspirators.
In a statement issued to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday, Seplat denied swindling about N13 billion from the Government. The company emphasised that the report is false and that “Seplat will vigorously defend its position”.
The Backstory: The company and NPDC (a subsidiary of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Ltd) were accused of short-changing the Federal Government to the sum of about N600 billion from 2013 to 2017. The non-remittance allegation was made by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP).
How the funds came about: During SPIP‘s one-year investigation, the Mr. Okoi Obla-led panel discovered Seplat failed to remit funds on Royalties on oil and gas, Concessional rental, and Gas flaring penalty due to the Federal Government.
Relationship between Seplat and NPDC: Both companies are involved in a joint venture of oil and gas. The NPDC is also involved in many other joint ventures with other private companies as well.
Why this matter: Nairametrics earlier reported that if the report is true, it could affect the confidence of investors, seeing as Seplat is listed company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. This would, in turn, affect the company’s share price. The company’s stock traded at N549.90 during the NSE’s last trading session.
In the meantime, Seplat Petroleum will be required to pay the sum of $33,423,617.18 and N1,302,028,429.46 alleged to have withheld from FG’s knowledge. Doing this could slightly affect the company’s bottom line.
“Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc (“Seplat” or the “Company”) wishes to inform the public that its attention has been drawn to recent publications alleging that Seplat “failed to remit complete dues” on royalty oil, royalty gas, concessional rental and gas flared penalty from 2013 through 2017.
“Seplat strongly refutes the allegation of non-payment of Gas sale royalty, Oil royalty, Concession rental and Gas flare penalty and confirms that it is up to date on all statutory payments to the FGN. Seplat will vigorously defend its position.” -Seplat
NPDC pleads guilty: While Seplat denied the accusation, NPDC admitted to short-changing the Federal Government, while promising to finance the discovered debt.
Other companies involved: The NPDC has Joint Venture agreements with nine companies to operate Oil Mining Leases, including Seplat, and they all have failed to remit oil royalty, gas royalty, concessional rental, and gas flared penalty to the Federal Government, according to the panel.
List of the partners involved with NPDC;
- Seplat/NPDC JV (OML 4, 38 and 41)
- ND Western (OML 34)
- Elcrest /NPDC JV (OML 40)
- Neconde/NPDC JV (OML 42)
- NAOC (Nig. Agip Oil Coy)/NPDC JV (OML 60, 63)
- FHN (First Hydrocarbon Nigeria)/NPDC (OML 26)
- Abura/Oredo/Oziengbe (OML 65, 111)
- Okono/Okpoho/NPDC JV
- Shoreline/NPDC JV (OML 30)