Sahara Committed To Transparency In Oil And Gas Dealing

Yemisi Izuora
Sahara group has restated its support to entrenchment of transparency in the oil and gas business in Nigeria.

The company revisited this position while reacting to publications that anti graft agencies is keeping watch on it and had placed ban on some of its officials in connection with some oil contracts.

Sahara said over time it maintains its core values, which thrives on healthy competition and has been an avid supporter of transparency in the Oil and Gas sector for many years.

Sahara’s affiliation with the
World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative PACI community, which comprises some of the world’s best conglomerates, reinforces its leading role in spearheading a growing wave of transparency and good governance principles across Africa.

The groups spokesperson Bethel Obioma in clarifying what he believed were untrue publications said, Sahara was among other operators invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as part of a complete petroleum industry investigation.

“We made submissions to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which showed that the Society Ivoirienne de Rafinage, Abidjan (SIR)/Sahara OPA contract has been fully reconciled and indicate a zero debt position to NNPC/PPMC in crude, cash or products.

It must also be reiterated that SIR/ Sahara have always had a Letter of Credit in place to the full value of the crude lifted and is still valid till date” Obioma explained.

He said, the Letter of Credit acts as a performance bond that can be called in by the NNPC at any point of the transaction in the event that the full contractual value of any outstanding products is not delivered, adding “this is lopsided as we do not have any security against NNPC if there is a default on their part.

He further said that “It is important to stress the fact that Sahara, whenever the need arose, has always gone the extra mile to ensure product availability, often times pre-delivering in the absence of a corresponding crude allocation.

“We recall, for example, the fuel scarcity crisis in the first quarter of 2015 that almost paralysed the nation.

Sahara’s proactive response of ensuring supply of petroleum products in excess of crude allocation received was an answer to a national call – and this prevented what would have been a huge disaster in the entire nation”.

He said, SIR/Sahara are both African companies that have continued to prove that business can be done efficiently, diligently, and  transparently whilst adhering to best practice and good corporate governance.

“We affirm that no Director or staff of the Sahara Group has been informed of any such restrictions by either of the two authorities mentioned, namely the EFCC and the Department of State Security (DSS)” Obioma said.

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