NNPC Declined to pay Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah debt of over 16 billion Naira, The Truth you do not know


by Vin Onyeka

I have watched with a kin interest how the Nigerian State Security Services also known as DSS has turned a business disagreement between Capital Oil and Gas Limited and The Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC into a national security matter thereby detaining him without charges.  Despite the fact that a court of competent jurisdiction has cleared him of all charges. The reason why every business man or woman should be concerned is that it can be Ifeanyi Ubah of Capital Oil today, tomorrow it could be another business man/woman or you. 

For the interest of those who do not know the full story or the general context.
Ifeanyi Ubah, the MD of Capital Oil and Gas was arrested on the 5th of May by men of the Nigerian DSS accusing him and his company of diverting 86 million liters of PMS (fuel) stored in his depot by the NNPC worth about 11 billion Naira.. It should be noted that he has not been charged with any crime at any court of law, without any charges they are threatening Mr Ifeanyi that the offence of economic sabotage is punishable by death. Ridiculous!!!
On the other hand Capital Oil and Gas and Ifeanyi Ubah have alleged that the Nigerian government through NNPC has caused his company financial hardship  by refusing to pay a debt of over 16 billion Naira  owed to Capital Oil and Gas. The Nigerian Government or the NNPC are yet to dispute this debt, making it seem like a business disagreement.

With the insight shared on the matter, you can see why every business person who is doing or plans to do business in Nigeria or with the Nigerian government should be concerned. 

Capital Oil and Gas is a private company with the largest oil Depot in Nigeria and Sub-Sahara Africa. It also possesses the largest and deepest jetty in Nigeria.  Capital Oil spent over 4 billion Naira to drudge the waters around the Depot. Capital  oil has an ultra Modern truck park that holds about 2 thousand tank vehicles. It also employs over 2300 Nigerian with a great number of them from the South East of Nigeria. The Nigerian government found these assets of Capital Oil attractive, thereby approaching Capital Oil and Gas to use their facilities for the dispensation of their products. The NNPC is supposed to be paying for the usage according to what payment agreed in the contract, however like other agreements the Nigerian government is a party to, the failure to make payment remains an issue. Capital Oil and Gas has made several attempts to get the the Nigerian government to pay the debt owed to him, all attempts failed a usual situation when doing business with the Nigerian Government.
Now with the company in so much pressure  to meet its obligations which includes paying staff and loan service companies.  Capital did what any business will do which is to try and recover its rightful money by seizing and selling some of NNPC’s products in it’s storage tank to meet the company’s obligations.  The product sold by Capital is not enough to cover the debt owed by the NNPC.  When the NNPC came looking for their products, Capital Oil and Gas directed the NNPC to either pay Capital what is been owed to them with a promise to replace their assets or subtract the amount of product sold from the debt and balance Capital Oil the remainder. Remember the NNPC is claiming 14 billion Naira worth of goods taken by Ifeanyi Ubah and  Capital oil and Ifeanyi Ubah is been owed 16 billion Naira by the NNPC.
Why will the NNPC want Capital Oil to pay them 14 billion Naira before paying the 16 billion Naira been owed to them?
Common business practice every where demand that you subtract what they owe you and balance them whatever is left. NO Not In Nigeria. The only reason why Capital has been able to recover any amount from the Nigerian government and NNPC is because they are housing their products and have the capacity otherwise the debt would have remained in full.  Just ask people like us who has done business with NNPC and come out with bloody nose and burnt fingers. The next move by the Nigerian government and NNPC was to use their secret police to arrest Ifeanyi Ubah and charged him with so called Economic sabotage punishable by. death. Where in the world today will this happen to a person who has made so much investment in his country. Meanwhile the so called leaders are busy stealing from the country and shipping it abroad.
I am concerned because between 2009 and 2010 my own company West Mall Oil and Gas , did business with NNPC and  they are owing me 75 million . Meanwhile the banks are charging us an average interest of 40% per annum on the  money borrowed. Now tell me what I should do to recover these money from a shameless country and a criminal enterprise called NNPC.
This is why am particularly bitter about how people with no clue of what an average business person is goes through in Nigeria, is treating a fellow business man with good intentions for the country poorly. These people have not invested one Naira in the country , have not created a single employment for the people of this country so how can they possible understand what a business disagreement is or how to resolve them.
Intimidation may have worked in the past but with recent example of Nnamdi Kalu, it shows that it does not work any more. We have had up to our head, its certainly not going to work this time around .  I believe that an injustice to one man is injustice to all of us.
We all have a moral obligation to speak out. I  just did, how about you ? 
Thank you

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