Custom Search

House C’ttee Okays Zenon’s Acquisition of AP Shares

A report by the House of Representatives Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation has described the acquisition of majority shares of African Petroleum (AP) by Zenon Petroleum and Gas as transparent

The report also recommended that the Federal Government should constitute a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to find a solution to the problem that resulted from the sale of the shares

The report added that the proposed Commission’s white paper and gazette on its findings be made public so that no party would feel cheated.

The report obtained by THISDAY also recommended that Dr. Abba Gana, who managed AP before Sadiq Petroleum became the core investor and its chief accountant, Mr. Alabi, be made to face the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and their accounts in Nigeria and abroad frozen.

The Committee had pursuant to a resolution on the petition presented by Sadiq Petroleum Nigeria Limited dated 19th November 2007, in line with Order XIV, Rule 3 (I) (I11), and in order to give fair hearing to all parties involved with the sales transactions of the Federal Government’s 30 per cent AP shares, conducted a one-day open investigative hearing. THISDAY gathered that the lawmakers’ recommendation would be tabled when the House resumes from its two weeks short break.

“The Management of AP Plc under Ibrahim Abba Gana was responsible for the huge debt owed NNPC, and in fact, the hidden debt that was not disclosed to Sadiq Petroleum Ltd, at the time it purchased 30 per cent Federal Government equity shares in AP Plc.

“Therefore, to serve as a deterrent to others and in order to avoid a repeat of such, Mr. Abba Gana and his Chief Accountant, Mr. Alabi, should be made to face the EFCC while their accounts within and outside Nigeria should be frozen,” the report stated.

The report endorsed Zenon’s take over of AP’s shares as having followed due process.

“Since the sale transaction, which culminated in Debt-to-Equity Swap was a ‘life saver’ to save AP Plc from folding up and since this was conditional on NNPC Pension Fund and in order to allow for the sale process to be transparent, it was important that the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) did the sale of AP Plc shares in accordance with due process by way of tender offer for sale,” the report stated.

The report stated that, “the sale transaction followed due process and accordingly, recommend(ed) that Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, a company with vast resources in petroleum products supply and distribution, be allowed to hold on to (its) equity stake in African Petroleum Plc.”

The lawmakers had said they adopted the open investigative hearing to eliminate restraints and limitations, adding that it invited all the parties involved in the sales transactions to present their sides of the deal.

Those invited were the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Dr. Irene Chigbue; Chairman of Sadiq Petroleum Nigeria Limited, Mr. Peter Eloka Okocha; Director-General of the NSE, Dr. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke; Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (NSE), Musa Al-Faki; Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENDASSAN) representatives; the Company Secretary of ENL Consortium; representatives of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Aminu Ibrahim & Co.

Both NUPENG and PENGASSAN had protested the alleged irregularities that followed the sale of NNPC Staff Pension Fund 28.7 per cent equity interest in AP Plc to Zenon Oil.

They had complained about the process leading to the transaction, the denial of the shareholders, both current and retired staff of NNPC, the right to freely know whether to redeem the N10.7 billion debt owed by AP Plc to the corporation (NNPC) to reduce the under-funding gaps in NNPC Staff Pension Fund Account that had grown to about N100 billion. - ThisDay

No comments:

Free SEO by Master Google