20 November 2012

Nigeria: Presidency, JEPTFON May Wade Into Capital Oil Case

There are indications that the Presidency may step into the alleged fraud case involve Capital Oil and Gas Limited as the continued closure of its business premises may result in acute distribution of petroleum products nationwide.

Industry sources said that the presidency was worried because Capital Oil accounts for over 35 per cent of the nation's distribution of petroleum products which is about 15 out of the 35 million metric tons of PMS consumed daily in Nigeria. With this shortfall, industry sources said that indeed the government is bound to be worried about a looming scarcity of petroleum products nationwide.

The Executive Secretary of the Jetties and Petroleum Tank Farm Owners of Nigeria (JEPTFON) Mr. Enoch Banawa told LEADERSHIP that government would not allow such huge facility to be shut down as it would impact on the supply of petroleum products nationwide. He said that they have scheduled to meet with the authorities concerned to settle the matter out of court. 'The government has expressed readiness to discuss with us the issue and they are equally worried that the continued closure of the company will not help the distribution of fuel' he said.

According to Capital Oil and Gas they were surprised to hear that Honourable Justice Abdu-Kafarati of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had granted an ex-parte order for the temporary forfeiture order of its assets, especially the company's Tank Farms and Jetties. 'In the light of the order, the Jetties and Depots of Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited located at Apapa have been shut down with immediate effect.

With effect from Friday November 16, 2012 discharge and loading of petroleum products from the facility have been temporarily suspended. This is to ensure that the order of the court is not in any way violated. We empathize with the long-suffering masses of Nigeria who have been experiencing long queues at filling stations, non-availability of petroleum products as well as high cost of transportation' they said.

According to the company it accounts for about 35 per cent of daily petroleum products distribution in Nigeria. It wondered why the company was being subjected to baffling court order. 'It would appear that those who want to take over our business are succeeding with the aid of their friends in Government. They came up with subsidy, we defended it and they could not refute our defense.

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