Home » Local contractors accuse Nigerian billionaire Mike Adenuga’s Conoil of failing to pay debts

Local contractors accuse Nigerian billionaire Mike Adenuga’s Conoil of failing to pay debts

by Omokolade Ajayi

Local oil contractors linked to Nigerian petroleum marketing company, Conoil Plc, have accused the oil and gas marketing firm of failing to honor its debt obligations totaling millions of dollars.

Mike Adenuga, the founder of Globacom and a billionaire businessman, is the chairman of the board of Conoil. In addition to being the oil company’s chairman, the billionaire businessman, who is currently worth $7.4 billion, owns 74.4 percent of Conoil.

According to Sahara Reporters, the contractors demanded an investigation into Conoil’s “tragic state” in separate letters to the president’s Chief of Staff Ibrahim Gambari and State Petroleum Resources Minister Timipre Sylva.

The aggrieved businessmen claim that Conoil’s board and senior management engage in a variety of unethical business practices to ensure that contractors are not paid.

The accusation comes nearly five months after Conpurex, a wholly-owned Conoil subsidiary, was dragged to court by creditors over a $7-million debt.

In addition to the recent contractor accusations, the oil and gas company was accused of failing to properly maintain multimillion-dollar platforms, with creditors pointing to joint ventures between the Nigerian government and Conoil that they said were a dismal failure, leaving host communities and the public purse out of pocket.

Conoil was also accused of mismanaging the Nigerian government’s Obodo Field, and of being nothing more than a general contractor.

Conoil failed to develop, according to the contractors, as the field has yet to produce a single barrel of oil in the 15 years that the oil company has been involved in the project.

Conoil reported total borrowings of N7.34 billion ($17.65 million) at the end of 2021, with trade and other payables estimated at N21.9 billion ($52.67 million).

The company’s profit increased by 111 percent at the end of 2021, from N1.44 billion ($3.46 million) in 2020 to N3.04 billion ($7.3 million), driven by a single-digit percentage increase in revenue.

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