AN Arbitration Tribunal sitting in Lagos has directed Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept and Brass Energy Development to refund $1.6 billion to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

NPDC is a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

NNPC Group Managing Director (GMD) Dr. Maikanti Baru said the Corporation had been able to settle out of court with IPCO (Nig) Ltd for a payment of about $37.7 million instead of the $400 million that the firm was demanding from it.

He described the achievement as part of the gains of NNPC’s anti-corruption measures.

The NNPC chief spoke after the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria (CIFIPN) conferred its honorary fellowship award on him in Abuja.

Baru told reporters: “Recently, we got an award for them to refund $1.6 billion to NPDC following the arbitration process. So, this is just one.

“We have also been able to stem some high profile court cases that were sort of proven to defraud NNPC. So, these are activities are related to fighting corruption. If you see the amount of money involved. If you don’t have people who are standing for anti-corruption your chances are compromised.

“We have had cases, for example, NNPC versus Ipco, where they are demanding over $400 million. But because of the activities we are able to settle out of court with them for $37.7 million, which is saving of over several percentages, certainly less than 10% of the demand.

Baru said that the NNPC has made a lot of progress in terms of fraud prevention, protection and control, adding that while serving as part of the anti-corruption committee, they were able to ensure that all the corporation’s employees know the correct processes, components of corruption and the punishment.

Conferring the award on him, the institute’s interim President, Dr. Victoria Emape, said the NNPC boss has been adopted as the the institute’s patron.

Baru described the award as a laudable gesture that would spur him to give the necessary support to institute and domesticate it in the NNPC.

He vowed to help present the bill for the establishment of the institute to the 8th National Assembly and also work hard to realise its passage into law before the end of the current legislative circle.

Enape said: “Our institute has watched you (Baru) with keen interest since your assumption of office. We are here to sincerely appreciate you for being a champion of anti-corruption in NNPC, especially being a former chairman of anti-corruption committee and now the chief executive of NNPC.”

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