By Obas Esiedesa
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru on Tuesday disclosed that the corporation has through its anti-corruption policy recovered $1.6 billion from Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Nigeria Limited.
Baru who made the disclosure shortly after being conferred with Honourary Fellowship Award by the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria (CIFIPIN) in Abuja, said the money was recovered through arbitration for its upstream subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).
While stressing the importance of fraud prevention mechanisms in organisations, he stated that the most important thing for any economy and any business was to make sure that fraud did not occur.
Dr. Baru added that as the second Chairman of the NNPC Anti-Corruption Committee in 2004, he ensured that all staff of the corporation and its various stakeholders were educated about NNPC’s corporate policies and the various anti-corruption acts in the country in order to avoid fraudulent transactions.
The NNPC boss who was also made a patron of the institute, said the corporation has made a lot of savings by settling cases out of court with some companies it had litigations with.
He explained that most of the cases were brought to the fore through fraud and forensic investigation which helped the corporation to get value for money.
He said: “Under our anti-corruption committee, we were able to ensure that all staff of NNPC and all those doing business with NNPC know and do the correct thing. It is very fundamental.
“There is a lot of sanity that has happened in the industry as a result of this. Recently, due to the work, we were able to get the Atlantic companies who were fleecing the NNPC subsidiary, the NPDC, and we got an award for them to refund $1.6 billion to the NPDC, through the arbitration process. This is just one.
“We have also been able to stem fraud. High profile court cases were being set up to defraud NPDC. We have had cases, like NNPC versus IPCO, where they are demanding over $400 million, and because of their activities we were able to settle out of court with them, for $37.5 million, which is a saving of several percentages, about less than 10 per cent of the total amount.
“These are activities which the fraud investigation and of course, forensic investigation of fraud and ensuring that fraud is not present in our activities”, he added.
Earlier, the Pro tem President of CIFIPN, Dr. Victoria Enape, said Baru was conferred with the award because he was a champion of anti-corruption in NNPC, stressing that the partnership with the corporation would ensure effective prevention of fraud, corruption and cybercrimes in Nigeria.
Highpoint of the event was the conferment and presentation of plaque and anti-corruption books to Dr. Baru as Fellow and Patron for the Institute in recognition of his contributions to the anti-fraud crusade in Nigeria.