The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has commenced full investigations into the fraudulent allocations of Naphtha and Fuel Oil, two by-product from crude oil, to some companies and powerful individuals in the country running into billion of dollars, by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) and Crude Oil Marketing Department.
Naphtha is used as a feedstock for steam cracking to produce petrochemicals (ethylene, propylene) and the production of aromatic petrochemical products (benzene, toluene, and xylenes) while Fuel oil is a fraction obtained from petroleum distillation, either as a distillate or a residue at the oil refinery.
The corporation’s head Dr. Maikanti Baru, it was learnt has halted with immediate effect the free allocation of Naphtha and Fuel Oil to the PPMC or any individual and directed a clean up in PPMC, the crude marketing department, which President Muhammadu Buhari labelled a cesspool of corruption.
While investigations is ongoing, NNPC has directed the products to be allocated solely to its marketing subsidiary Duke Oil, at prevailing international market prices to be regularly decided by a team of NNPC oil marketers, for purposes of accountability and transparency.
“This is a huge departure from the past where former GMDs and PPMC bosses just allocate the products to their friends and get huge bribes in return. This has been going on in NNPC for too long. The money that has been going tint the pockets of private individuals is not coming into the coffers of government,” an industry source said.
Our correspondent gathered that the searchlight of the investigations would be beamed on the activities of former GMD’s NNPC, including Dr. Joseph Dawha; Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, past managing directors (MDs) of PPMC including Mr. Haruna Momoh; Mrs Esther Ogbue-Nnamdi, current MD of NNPC Retail Limited, as well as the present PPMC boss, Mr. Farouk Ahmed, to ascertain their involvement in the fraudulent allocations of the money spinning products while they presided over the NNPC and PPMC respectively.
The investigations it was also gathered will equally focus on companies and other powerful individuals that benefitted from the sleaze during the period under review.
Our correspondent gathered that those found wanting maybe asked to refund huge sums of money and handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution.
Investigations by our correspondent revealed that the stoppage of the free allocation of the two products has ignited pressure on the president and top NNPC management staff from several companies and individuals in the country including emirs, oba, retired military appealing to President Buhari to rescind the decision and revert to the old allocation arrangements where PPMC gets the allocations and allocate them freely to whoever they want with handsome kickbacks in return.
The fraudulent allocations of the products, Naphtha and Fuel Oil, our correspondent further gathered has led to the loss of billions of naira by the NNPC in the past.
Our correspondent was told that the arrest and detention of Ogbue-Nnamdi, in 2016, by the EFCC was connected to the illegal allocation of the products, which she was alleged to have allocated to an unauthorised company without the approval of Mr. Kachikwu.
Frontiersnews gathered that the allocation of the two petroleum by-products to some individual and personal companies during the last regime, was the bane of the dispute between the former minister of petroleum resources Mrs. Dieziani Allison-Madueke and Momoh.
Momoh has since been declared wanted by the EFCC following his alleged roles in the scandalous and fraudulent petroleum Swap deals involving Taleveras, owned by Igho Sanomi; Aiteo, owned by Mr. Ben Peters and Ontario, owned by the embattled Walter Wagbatsoma, all allies of the former minister.
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