Days after raising alarm about the fraudulent activities of a syndicate of crude oil sale scammers, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, again on Tuesday denied insinuations that some of its top officials were selling Nigeria’s crude oil from “the confines of hotel rooms”.
The Corporation’s Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, Mele Kyari, who was shedding light on the scamming syndicate’s mode of operations, said the NNPC “doesn’t sell crude oil from hotel rooms as done by scammers.”
Mr. Kyari said some of the ways the scammers lure unsuspecting would-be crude oil buyers included offers of higher discounts on cargoes, non-OPEC crude specification, crude oil allocation, presentation of crude oil sale letters as well as “conducting business transactions from hotels in Abuja and other places.”
He said there was only one way to buy crude oil from the NNPC – through the advertisement for the selection of customers screened for compliance with the Corporation’s expectations and standards.
“There are very high standards we have set for such transactions. If you don’t meet them, you cannot be our customer. And once you become our customer, we sign a single annual contract with you,” Mr. Kyari said.
The crude contracts, he pointed out, were typically between 30,000 to 32,000 barrels per day, bpd, which accumulated into a standard cargo size of 950,000 bpd monthly and not 2 to 3 million bpd contracts as peddled by the scammers.
Mr. Kyari observed that for the crude oil sale processes to be completed, the customer must show he had the capability to sell the cargo to the market and that the Corporation could get its money back.
“Today, the entire process of crude oil marketing had become seamless and real-time, with electronic platforms, such as Platts and Argus acting as reporting agencies for global crude oil trading programmes.
“The beauty of selling crude oil is that the moment we sell the cargo to you, the entire world knows that cargo X is with Mr. Y. So you see, you don’t have to scavenge for who buys your crude,” he said.
He informed would-be buyers not to be gullible as the scammers always cashed in on their gullibility to swindle them, adding that those who fall for the scammers were either ‘not in the business’ or were themselves fraudulent.
He said the good thing in all the unwholesome development was that NNPC documents had not leaked, as almost 98 per cent of the documents involved were fake documents produced by the scammers.
In line with federal government’s anti-corruption crusade, he said NNPC management was committed to promoting transparency and accountability in its operations, while the COMD would continue to collaborate with the relevant security agencies as the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, the Department of State Services, DSS, and the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to checkmate fraudsters.
“Already, this massive collaboration with security agencies is paying off. Some arrests have been made, while on our part, we assist the security agencies by providing evidence in the course of their prosecution,” he noted.
He called on the general public to always alert the Corporation on suspected crude oil scammers by reporting them via the e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Restating the success of the NNPC’s flagship crude oil for product exchange scheme, also known as Direct Sale Direct Purchase Programme, DSDP, the GGM said this would not only ensure transparency, but also the stability of products supply across the country.