Police investigate Nigerian Breweries over contractual dispute

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Nicolaas Vervelde, MD NB PLC

The Nigerian Breweries Plc has confirmed that it is under Police investigation following a petition against it by a former supplier, TMDK Oil Traders Limited.

NB Plc in a statement posted on the website of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, said it was aware of an on-going Police investigation emanating from a petition written by one of its suppliers, Messrs TMDK Oil Traders.

The brewing giant clarified that: “TMDK Oil Traders (TMDK) was one of the suppliers of petroleum products to Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB) via a three-year term certain contract that lapsed at the end of September, 2016.

“TMDK participated in a recent tender process for supply of petroleum products to NB. While the process was on-going, TMDK wrote a letter to NB complaining of some bias against it. The complaint was handled and investigated by NB’s internal audit department and the conclusion was that the tender process was duly followed and no irregularities were found. Other claims relating to extra costs made by TMDK are currently being analysed and evaluated.”

The statement signed by NB’s Corporate Affairs Adviser, Kufre Ekanem, said recently, some managers in NB (senior and other levels) have been asked to report to the Force Headquarters (Police), Abuja for questioning based on the petition written by TMDK’s lawyers to the Attorney General of the Federation and the Honourable Minister of justice who in turn forwarded it to the Police for investigation. “It appears that the petition is targeted at persons connected to NB, including the wife of our Managing Director, Nicolaas Vervelde.”

The company said, as a responsible organization, it is co-operating fully with the investigating authorities while seeking to protect and uphold the company’s reputation as a good corporate citizen in the country.

Nigerian Breweries, the biggest beer-maker in Nigeria, has over 11 breweries, two malting plants and 26 Sales depots and 26 brands in the West African nation.

Meanwhile the company’s shares fell 1.4 per cent, the most since January 3, to N142.5 at the stock market by the close of trading on Tuesday.

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