Fraudulent Crude Swap: NNPC set to recover $42 Million debts from Ben Peters’ Aiteo, others

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NNPC GMD, Maikanti Kacalla Baru

The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has set machinery in motion to recover the sum of $42,339,372.22 million as unpaid debts from fraudulent crude oil allocations to three Nigerian oil marketing companies.

The three companies are Aiteo owned by Ben Peters; Taleveras owned by Igho Sanomi and Ontario owned by the jailed Walter Wagbatsoma.

Sources said that President Muhammad Buhari has told the NNPC boss, Dr. Maikanti Baru, to recover every penny owned the Corporation by local and foreign oil firms using every available means.

A top Presidency source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that the three companies capitalised on their closeness to the former embattled minister of petroleum resources, Dieziani Allison-Madueke to fraudulently get crude oil allocations from Duke Oil, a subsidiary of the NNPC, without paying for the products they lifted.

“Sadly, this impunity brought Duke Oil to its kneels. The company was financially brought down and for so many years the company was not functioning because Aiteo and Taleveras took over Duke Oil without any challenge from anybody in government.

“So the NNPC has been mandated to recover every penny from the owners of the companies using any means. What they did is unacceptable and they must repay the money they are owing the government,” the source said.

The source stated further that Duke Oil would have completely been liquidated if the former minister was still in government adding that during the last regime in the oil and gas sector the level of impunity was alarming.

“Where else in the world can a company lift crude oil meant for a government subsidiary and yet refuse to pay? Its unheard of but these three companies with the help of their sponsors fraudulently lifted crude oil and refused to pay.

“So, the time has come for them to pay all that they own NNPC and we are going to use everything within our powers to get the money from them. They can run to anywhere in the world, we will make them pay that money,” the source said.

Further investigations revealed that the three companies on the orders of top officials of the past administration connived with some key NNPC officials to lift crude oil allocations from Duke Oil without payment within the period under review.

Investigations showed that in 2012 Aiteo was allocated crude valued at $4,897,245.63 million while in 2013 and 2014, the company got crude oil valued at $6,528,298.08 million and $6,535,269.82 million respectively without paying a dime for the products.

The total amount of money owned by Aiteo, as at the time of filing this report is $17,960,813.53 million with a current interest of $1,326,737.37 million as at February 2016.

For Taleveras, the company was said to have lifted products worth $2,723,854.36 million in 2012 while in 2013 and 2014 it lifted products valued at $6,488,00.18 million and $6,109,865.80 million respectively without equally paying a kobo for the products from Duke Oil.

The products lifted by the company our correspondent gathered totalled $15,321,724.34 million with a current interest of $1,128,899.49 million as at the end of February 2016.

The embattled Ontario Oil and Gas Limited, according to investigation, lifted products worth $6,271,682.95 million from Duke Oil only in 2014. Interest as at the end of February 2016 only attracted $329,514.54.

Close industry source said the three companies have made no efforts to work out any payment formula with the management of NNPC.

* With reports from Frontiers News

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