A few days after raising the red flag on the fraudulent activities of crude oil scammers, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has provided further insights into how fraudsters dupe unsuspecting prospective crude oil buyers.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, quoted his counterpart in Crude Oil Marketing Division (COMD), Mr. Mele Kyari, as saying that the Corporation “does not sell crude oil from hotel rooms as done by scammers.”
The statement, which was made available to our correspondent in Abuja, quoted Kyari as saying that fraudsters lure unsuspecting prospective buyers with higher discount offers on cargoes, offers of non-OPEC crude specification, crude allocation, presentation of crude oil sale letters as well as conducting business from hotels. “Some of them lure prospective victims to hotels to transact fraudulent crude oil contracts. The entire public should know that NNPC doesn’t do business of crude oil marketing from hotel rooms, “Kyari warned.
He reiterated that there was only one way of buying crude oil from the NNPC which was through advertisement for the selection of customers who were screened for compliance with the Corporation’s expectations and standards.
“NNPC has set very high standards and 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,” the General Manager added. He observed that the crude contracts were typically 30,000 to 32,000 bpd which accumulated into a standard cargo size of 950,000bpd monthly and not two to three million bpd contracts as peddled by the scammers.
Kyari observed that for crude oil sale processes to be completed, the customer had to show that he had the capability to sell the cargo to the market and that the Corporation could get its money back.
According to him, the entire process of crude oil marketing has become seamless and real-time with electronic platforms such as Platts and Argus acting as reporting agencies for global crude trading programmes.
“The beauty of selling crude oil is that the moment we sell the crude oil cargo to you, the entire world knows that cargo X is with Mr. Y. So you don’t have to scavenge for who buys your crude.” he said.
He warned the public against being gullible adding that scammers always cash-in on the gullibility of buyers. He warned that those who fall for the scammers were either not in the business or are themselves fraudulent.
While explaining that the good thing in all these unwholesome development was the fact that NNPC documents had not leaked, Kyari stressed that nearly 98% of all the documents involved were fake documents produced by the scammers.
He said in line with the Federal government’s anti-corruption crusade and NNPC Management’s commitment towards promoting transparency and accountability, COMD of NNPC has collaborated with relevant security agencies such as the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to checkmate these fraudsters.
“This important collaboration with security agencies is paying up. 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.
He later reiterated the success of the Corporation’s flagship crude oil for product exchange scheme also known as Direct Sale Direct Purchase Programme (DSDP) which not only ensured transparency, but has also led to the stability of products supply across the country.