13 June 2012

Nigeria: FG Lifts Suspension On Nimex Petroleum

Lagos — The Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has lifted the suspension earlier slammed on Nimex Petroleum.

The suspension was earlier handed to the firm for alleged failure to furnish the regulatory agency details of its fuel import documentation.

Nimex's Director of Business Development, Mr. Alistair Yates, said the suspension was lifted because of the documents it presented in support of its claims.

Speaking in Lagos, Yates said while Nimex understood the basis of its suspension by PPPRA, he had dismissed insinuations of perceived fraud as may have been misinterpreted in the wake of the suspension.

The PPPRA last week temporarily lifted the suspension order it placed on Nimex Petroleum last month over the failure of the company to furnish the agency details of its import documents. However, PPPRA said via a memo that the company's submission would be subjected to further and comprehensive examination with a view to ascertaining the veracity of its claims.

The memo, dated May 30 addressed to the managing director of Nimex Petroleum, was signed by the Executive Secretary of PPPRA, Mr. Reginald Stanley.

Mr. Stanley in the letter said in part: "Please be advised that in the event that your company is found culpable as a result of this verification exercise, the agency will be left with no option but to sanction your company."

Yates blamed the delay of the submission of the document on the rigorous retrieval process from the banks with which the documents had served as facility security.

"The original documents were with the banks; they were in the banking system as security and the retrieval process was not as easy as we may have presumed. But immediately we got the instruction from PPPRA, we requested for the papers which did not come on time," he said.

He explained that dealing with banks, especially when it is not just one bank on the basis of documentation provided as security was not as easy as people thought. Nimex has had to move from their bank in Geneva, Switzerland to the Commerce Bank in Germany before coming down to Nigeria to perfect the entire retrieval process, he noted.

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