N1.3bn subsidy fraud: EFCC summons 38 oil marketers

23 January 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – Thirty eight oil marketers believed to have benefited from last year’s N1.3trillion subsidy fund are expected to begin to appear before the EFCC for questioning today as the anti-corruption agency intensifies its searchlight on activities in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

This is sequal to the completion by the agency of preliminary screening of oil import records from the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) following its raiding of the offices of both organisations in search of records.

The marketers would be required to show documents covering all transactions with the PPPRAand NNPC.

EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the invitation in Abuja, but did not disclose the names of the invited marketers.

“We will start interacting with the marketers from Monday (today) but it might be in batches. They are to appear with documentation and supporting evidence in respect of all transactions,” he said.

It was gathered that the EFCC would be contacting some international organisations to corroborate facts on shipment of petroleum products from abroad into the country.

Allegation of sharp practices over the fuel import and subsidy regime has been rife. At the continued hearing of the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc committee investigating the subsidy regime last week, Mr. Reginald Stanley, executive Secretary of the RFCC, disclosed that while Nigeria was consuming 35 million litres per day, the country was importing 59 million litres on a daily basis.

This amounted to an excess supply of 24 million and subsidy payments on the excess supply to the tune of N667 billion in 2011, which remain unaccounted for.

At the Senate, Senator Magnus Abe, chairman of the Senate ad-hoc Committee looking into fuel subsidy regime, recently released the list of 38 oil companies, which benefitted from the N1.3 billion subsidy cash.

He listed the companies and the amount they received as: Oando Nigeria Plc, N228.506billion; Integrated Oil and Gas Plc, N30billion; MRS, 224.818 billion; A.A. Rano, N1.14 billion; A-Z Petroleum, N18.61 billion; A.S.B, N3.16 billion; Arcon Plc, N24.116 billion; African Petroleum, N104.58 billion; Aminu Resources, N2.3 billion.

Also included are Capital Oil, N22.4 billion; Con Oil, N37.96 billion; Avante Guard, N1.14 billion; Avido, N3.64 billion; Boffas and Company, N3.67 billion; and Brilla Energy, N960.3 million, D. Jones Petroleum, N14.86 billion; Downstream Energy, N789.648 million; Dosil Oil and Gas, N3.375 billion; Inco ray, N1.988 billion and Eternal, N5.574 billion.

Others are Folawiyo Energy, N113.32 billion; Frado International, N2.63 billion; First Deepwater Oil, N257.396 million; Heden Petrol, N693 million; Honeywell Petrol, N12.2 billion; AMP, N11.417 billion; Ascon, N5.271 billion; Channel Oil, N1.308 billion; Fort Oil, N8.582 billion; Enak Oil & Gas, N19.684 billion; Bovas & Co. Nig Ltd, N5.685billion; and Obat Oil N85billion.

Senator Abe also named AP, N104.5billion; IPMAN Investment Limited, N10.9billion; ACON, N24.1billion; Atio Oil, N64.4billion; AMP, N11.4billion; and Emac Oil, N19.2billion.

In 2006, only MRS, Total and Oando were listed as beneficiaries of the fuel subsidy cash recognised by the Federal Government. The three were listed as “major marketers.”

Iin 2007, however, AP and Mobil joined and were listed under the category of majors.

The same year, NIPCO was introduced and listed under the category of petrol depot owners. A new category of “independents” included some marketers who had no depots.

AITEO Energy Resources and Triquest Energy were added in 2007, bringing the total to eight beneficiaries of the fuel subsidy.

The list of subsidy beneficiaries increased sharply in 2008 to 23, made up of six majors.

In 2008, Conoil joined, and NIPCO was joined by Capital Oil and Folawiyo Energy, under the category of depot owners.

The list of “independents” also increased from two in 2007 to 14 in 2008 as AITEO and Triquest were said to have been joined by Triquest Oil services, IMAD Oil & Gas, Integrated Oil and Gas, Rahamaniyya, AMG Petro Energy, Brittania, Acorn, A-Z Petroleum, Shield Petroleum and Majope Investment Limited.

Axccording to Abe, the beneficiaries of the subsidy payment under the category of major marketers remained six in 2010 while the depot owners remained two. But the list of independent marketers went up to 28 with the inclusion of many relatively unknown companies.

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