Some top directors in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have been fingered in a contract bidding fraud over sales of two companies.
Reports revealed that the sale of the two companies were masterminded and owned by the same directors.
Furthermore, details emerged about a third bid which was eventually discovered to be linked to a company known as Korpu Energy Limited (which is registered) and not Kurpo Energy Limited (which is unregistered).
These damaging discoveries came in the wake of a controversial bid supervised by the NNPC Group Executive Director (GED) Refinery, Mustapha Yakubu, that saw scarce slop oil – traditionally reserved for local industries – being controversially offered to preferred bidders that are export companies.
The slop oil consignment is domiciled at the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC).
These three companies implicated in the report — Sign Oil &Gas Ltd, Synthesis Integrated Pure Oil and Gas Limited and Kurpo Energy Ltd — were alleged to have been aided in their schemes by top NNPC insiders and decision-makers.
The ripple effects of these allegations might derail the economic programmes of President Muhammadu Buhari who has repeatedly pledged to ensure sanity and stability in the oil sector.
For local manufacturers in Nigeria – particularly those in labour-intensive industries like textiles, cement, rubber processing, food and beverages – slop oil is the only alternative to Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) a product of fractional distillation that keeps the boilers of manufacturing industries running.
The LPFO is also used in power generating plants to get around the challenge of acute gas shortages.
A source within the NNPC stated that a damage control is ongoing which might witness the slop oil allocation going to a fourth company said to be a local company.