NNPC is not bankrupt- Petroleum Minister insists.

The Minister of Petroleum Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke has joined the minister of Information in refuting claims that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation NNPC is insolvent.

Speaking to journalists Wednesday evening in Abuja, Mrs. Allison Madueke said the NNPC is in a sound financial situation.

Unconfirmed reports have it that President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday waded into the brawls between the Minister of State for Finance, Remi Babalola, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

A source at the Presidency told journalists that �President Jonathan was not happy with the approach that the duo used in solving the problem. He is particularly not happy that what is supposed to be resolved between the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Ministry of Finance has now been taking to the press.�

Meanwhile, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Austen Oniwon, has called on all stakeholders in the petroleum industry to partner with the corporation to ensure the quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which he said, would make the NNPC to be an independent business corporation.

�We really need to close all the possible gaps in the Petroleum Industry Bill currently before the National Assembly so that we can get a good law that we would all be proud of. This is because we may not have another opportunity to amend our petroleum laws for another 50 years,� Oniwon said.

According to the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, the federal government owed it N1.156 trillion in petroleum subsidies for its activities, including the company�s importation of products at international prices and also purchasing of domestic crude for the country�s Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries at international prices. But these products are, according to the corporation, sold domestically at heavily subsidised prices.

Babalola disclosed earlier in the year that the company was broke, as the poor state of its finances could not allow for the payment of the outstanding N450billion debt to the Federation Account.

After several ultimatums to the NNPC management since last year, demanding the debt repayment schedule, according to Babalola, the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), at its meeting last month, resolved to send a reminder, after the minister warned journalists that a positive response should not be expected, because of the corporation�s dismal cash flow situation.

The former minister of petroleum, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman had in March this year at the NNPC town hall meeting said that the corporation was running at a loss of more than 200billion Naira with contingent liabilities of more than 146 billion Naira.

Dr. Rilwanu Lukman had warned that if the trend was not reversed, the NNPC as it is known would cease to exist.

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