January 18, 2012 / Thisday
Managing Director of Zenon Petroleum and Gas, Mr. Kanmi Kareem Otaru, has denied that the company had anything to do with the subsidy regime.
He made the denial to the House Ad hoc Committee investigating the subsidy regime chaired by Hon. Lawan Farouk.
He stated that he decided to honour the Committee’s invitation out of deep respect for the House leadership and to also use the opportunity to clear the air about the rumours and outright misinformation going on through the social media platforms that Zenon and indeed Mr Otedola belong to a “cabal” exploiting the subsidy scheme, revealing that it was all a figment of people’s imagination.
He said “for the avoidance of doubt Zenon never participated or benefited from the subsidy scheme or Petroleum Support Fund, PSF.”
According to him going by the Act which established the PSF scheme, “Zenon couldn’t participate in it because we don’t have a network of PMS retail outlets which was one of the key criteria beneficiaries must meet and as such we are not qualified to participate in drawing from subsidy payments on PMS. So we never collected as records will show” he declared.
Stating further that the need to set the record straight had become urgent as a result of wild rumours and innuendos being circulated by mischief makers who are out to impugn the integrity of the company and its managers.
He told the committee after he was asked if Zenon imported PMS in 2011, that Zenon did not import any (AGO and/or PMS) in 2011. He further mentioned the losses sustained by the company in 2007/08, of over a N100 billion, due to the fall in international crude and products prices and the devaluation of the naira.
Earlier, Farouk had said neither Zenon or Otedola was on trial but that Zenon was invited by the committee because of its role as a key player in the downstream sector and that such input into the committee’s work was needed from Zenon.