The Maikanti Baru led Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has reportedly launched an extensive operation to investigate massive alleged fraud over improper allocations of Naphtha and Fuel Oil running into billions of dollars.
Investigations are focusing on the activities of former GMD’s of the corporation, including Dr. Joseph Dawha; Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, past managing directors (MDs) of PPMC, Mr. Haruna Momoh; Mrs Esther Ogbue-Nnamdi, current MD of NNPC Retail Limited, as well as the present PPMC boss, Mr. Farouk Ahmed, Frontiersnews is reporting.
Investigators are examining their actions to ascertain their involvement in the fraudulent allocations of the money spinning products while they presided over the NNPC and PPMC respectively, according to highly placed officials who discussed the confidential probe proceedings on the condition of anonymity.
The current GMD, Dr. Maikanti Baru, infuriated by the magnitude of the theft, has halted with immediate effect the free allocation of the products 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 continue, 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.
The fraudulent allocations of the products, Naphtha and Fuel Oil, has led to the loss of billions of naira by the NNPC in the past.
Contrary to earlier reports in the media 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, who was then the GMD.
Those familiar with the probe, speaking to Per Second News said the scope of the fraud is comparable to the billions of dollars of kickbacks and theft of government funds discovered at the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) and Crude Oil Marketing Department during the crude oil swap deals.
Officials used a web of Shell companies, fictitious charges and kickback schemes to defraud the government.
“This was a case of unbridled greed, deceit, and theft from government funds we all count on to take care of the poor, fund the economy, the official said.
“Over $10 billion from fraud and kickback which they used to finance a life of luxury.”
Taleveras, owned by Igho Sanomi; Aiteo, owned by Mr. Ben Peters and Ontario, owned by the embattled Walter Wagbatsoma, all allies of former minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, intentionally falsified and inflated transactions in a monumental scheme used to reap Nigeria of its resources.
“Nothing was off the table for these individuals,” the official told Per Second News.
“The complex scheme allowed the companies, Taleveras, Aiteo and Ontario to steal our commonwealth, he said.
These companies caused enormous losses to the government, including reckless or fraudulent deals in complicit with the former PPMC boss Haruna Momoh.
It is unclear why they have not been arrested by the anti-corruption agencies.
Haruna Momoh, former head of the PPMC and close ally of Diezani, has since been declared wanted by the EFCC following his alleged roles in the scandalous and fraudulent deals.
Per Second News gathered that he’s currently hiding from authorities at a Mid-Western state in the U.S.
The sweeping operation is the latest in a string of anti-graft investigations aimed at cleaning up the corporation, which have roiled Nigeria’s economy for decades and a principal catalyst in its political crisis.
The primary uses for naphtha and gas oil are the production of fuels, gasoline for naphtha, and diesel for gas oil. A secondary use for naphtha is as a feedstock for steam cracking to produce petrochemicals (ethylene, propylene) and the production of aromatic petrochemical products (benzene, toluene, and xylenes). Gas oil is used as a chemical feedstock for steam cracking, although generally less preferred than naphtha and natural gas liquids (NGLs, including liquefied petroleum gases).
Naphtha and gas oil refinery outputs depend on the composition of feed crude petroleum utilized and in turn the crude oil regional source