• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Crude oil theft: Whistleblower petitions NNPC, seeks 5% compensation

Crude oil theft

An oil and gas trading company, SAMANO SA DE CV, has petitioned the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over what it termed failure of the corporation to pay it whistleblowing percentage.

The oil and gas company said NNPC reneged on the whistleblower policy by its refual to pay it the percentage stipulated by the whistleblowing policy.

It is therefore demanding a compensation fee of 5 percent for giving the corporation reliable information on massive crude oil theft.

In a letter of petition addressed to the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, made available to BusinessDay in Abuja on Sunday, SAMANO SA DE CV, through its solicitors, appealed to the GMD to facilitate its whistleblower compensation of 5 percent.

BusinessDay reached out to NNPC, but Kenny Obateru, the Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division of the corporation, said the state-owned oil company has no comment on the matter at the moment.

“NNPC has no comment on this for now. We would at appropriate time,” Obateru said.

According to the petition, SAMANO SA DE CV said in 2015 it was approached by a group in the Peoples Republic of China with the intent to sell 48 million barrels of crude oil believed to have been stolen from the Nigerian government.

The petition stated further that the massive volume of crude oil was stored in several ports and terminals in China, adding the Chinese group told SAMANO SA DE CV that the company had obtained authorisation from the NNPC to sell the products.

The company, however, sensed that with the massive wave of corruption sweeping through Nigeria, the crude oil was stolen from Nigeria. This prompted the company to bring the information to NNPC’s notice.

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SAMANO SA DE CV said it gave this useful information to high-profile Nigerians including Mele Kyari (NNPC GMD); former Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; and Umar Mohammed.

According to the letter sighted by BusinessDay, in October 2015, the Nigerian government gradually began moving the stolen crude oil out of China.

The company, however, reached out to the NNPC with intention to legally purchase the crude oil.

The petitioner subsequently reached out to Umar Mohammed to clarify its intention of blowing the whistle on the Chinese group in possession of the alleged stolen crude.

“Five years have passed and SAMONO SA DE CV has not been paid the 5 percent whistleblower compensation fee, despite writing to the appropriate quarters,” said the petition.

The company in the letter said it has useful documents to prove that these same stolen barrels of crude oil were illegally resold by some top government officials and top management staff of the NNPC.

The petition, while appealing for its 5 percent whistleblower compensation fee, said it is open to being probed by relevant authorities, adding that the documents will be made available on request.