From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has warned members of the public to avoid treating phantom letters of crude oil allocation as they are from con men who have bilked gullible Nigerians in recent times. Consequently, it said it would soon automate its direct sale purchase scheme to ensure such oil deals were transacted via verifiable online platforms.
Speaking at the presentation of commendation letters to 12 staff of the Crude Oil Marketing Division (COMD) of the NNPC in Abuja, its Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the activities of the international fraudsters created an unnecessary distraction for staff of the COMD who were compelled to deal with huge turnover of scam mails on a regular basis.
He urged members of the public to be wary of criminals’ dubious and tempting emails written on cloned letterheads of NNPC just to validate their scam.
Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, Mallam Mele Kyari, said the scammers usually released 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,” he said.
He said, to tackle the challenge, the COMD made available the email contacts of its top officials thus allowing members of the public access to verify such emails.
He disclosed that the division embarked on the automation of the Direct-Sale –Direct-Purchase (DSDP) crude oil for product exchange scheme to ensure transparency of the process.
According to Kyari, the idea was to guarantee an end-to-end access to the DSDP programme online for relevant stakeholders to monitor the process from the point of crude oil allocation to conversion, return of products to the country and distribution by the Nigerian Products Marketing Company (NPMC) to the ultimate transfer of the Naira cash into the Federation Account.
He said though some form of automation of the process existed at the moment, the new programme to be delivered next month would provide insight into the minutest details of the entire transaction.