The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Tuesday warned oil sector operators about the activities of conmen specialising in circulating forged letters of crude oil allocation with the intent of defrauding unsuspecting buyers or members of the public.
Speaking at the presentation of commendation letters to 12 personnel of the Crude Oil Marketing Division of the corporation in Abuja, the NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the activities of the international fraudsters had created an unnecessary distraction for workers of the COMD, who had to deal with huge turnover of scam mails on a regular basis.
He urged members of the public to be wary of such dubious emails purporting to emanate from the corporation with mouth-watering crude oil allocation offers.
Providing an insight into the activities of the nefarious group, the Group General Manager in charge of the corporation’s COMD, Mr. Mele Kyari, said the scammers operated by sending fake crude oil allocation letters using names of senior NNPC officials as decoy and requesting the gullible individuals to pay certain cash deposits as commission on volume of crude received.
“The gullible individuals end up paying huge sums of dollars into these accounts as commission but the reality is that nobody allocates crude oil on a piece of paper the way the scammers canvass in their dubious letters. Everything about crude sale is electronic and real time. If you have your cargo, the whole world knows,” Kyari was quoted in a statement issued by the corporation’s spokesperson, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu.
To address the problem, he said the COMD had made available the email contacts of its top officials, thus allowing members of the public to verify such emails.
Kyari also said that the division had embarked on the automation of the direct sale of crude oil and direct purchase of products scheme to ensure transparency of the process.
According to him, the idea is to guarantee an end-to-end access to the DSDP programme online for relevant stakeholders to monitor the process from the point of crude allocation to conversion, return of products to the country and distribution by the Nigerian Products Marketing Company to the ultimate transfer of the cash (naira) into the federation account.
He said although some form of automation of the process existed, the new programme, which would be delivered by next month, would provide insights into the details of the entire transaction.
Baru, while presenting letters of commendation to the 12 workers of the division for outstanding service, urged them not to rest on their oars, stressing that the corporation would always reward hard work and commitment to service delivery.