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INVESTIGATION: NNPC in procurement fraud; two highest-bidders in slop oil sale are same people

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Perhaps to achieve a predetermined goal, the NNPC made the bid exercise a mismatch between local companies and export companies.

The first two bid-winning companies of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)’s controversial slop oil sale have been found to be owned by the same directors.

The third-highest bidder was also initially thought to be unregistered. But facts have since emerged that that company is known as Korpu Energy Limited (which is registered) and not Kurpo Energy Limited (which is unregistered.

These are but some of the new revelations tumbling out of the closet at the NNPC weeks after the Group Executive Director (GED) Refinery, Mustapha Yakubu, supervised a controversial bid that saw scarce slop oil – traditionally reserved for local industries – being controversially offered to preferred bidders that are export companies. The slop oil consignment is domiciled at the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC).

Figures from separate financial bids submitted by the three companies are a window to the behind-the-scenes manoeuvres that underpinned the entire bid exercise. Specifically, they show that the three preferred bidders, namely Sign Oil &Gas Ltd, Synthesis Integrated Pure Oil and Gas Limited and Kurpo Energy Ltd possibly took cues from NNPC insiders and decision-makers.

While Nigeria’s public procurement rules forbid any form of insider dealing, abuse of process and collaborative exploitation of nonpublic material information, the financial quotes submitted by the three export companies suggest everything but the contrary.

A six-naira difference is a common factor in their three separate financial bids. While the first preferred bidder, Sign Oil & Gas Ltd quoted N111.00K per litre, the second preferred bidder Synthesis Integrated Pure Oil quoted N6 less at N105.00K per litre while the third preferred bidder, Kurpo Energy Ltd bid N99.00K per litre – a further N6 lesser than the second.

Checks at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) by TrackNews Online confirmed the worst suspicion. The first and second preferred bidders are owned and promoted by connected individuals. While the first preferred bidder – Sign Oil & Gas Ltd – has Orereh Kingsley and Orereh Oghenetejiri as directors, the second preferred bidder – Synthesis Integrated Pure Oil and Gas Ltd – has Orereh Kingsley and Orereh Oghenerukevwe as directors.

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