Forex scam: Reps to drag NNPC officials to EFCC

As oil firm denies receiving $26.486m forex ABUJA—THE House of
Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on the Review of Price of Petroleum
Products has threatened to drag officials of Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation, NNPC, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,
EFCC, over alleged foreign exchange scam within the sector. This is even
as some oil companies which names appeared on the Central Bank of
Nigeria, CBN, list as those that accessed forex for oil activities have
denied having collected such monies. But Chairman of the Ad-hoc
Committee, Raphael Nnanna Igbokwe, has threatened that the committee
would get to the root of the matter to determine the level of
involvement of officials of NNPC in the alleged foreign exchange
manipulation. Recall that two CBN directors were arrested last week by
the EFCC over alleged manipulation of forex allocation. Already, the
committee has summoned Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu;
Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas; CBN Governor,
Godwin Emefiele, to appear at the investigative hearing on Friday to
explain, among other things, alleged discrepancies in the documents
submitted by the CBN and most of the oil marketers and their agencies.
Oil firm denies receiving $26.486m forex In a letter dated March 13,
2017, the committee alleged that one of the indicted companies, H. A. R
Petroleum Services Limited, obtained forex worth $11,878,471.67 at the
bid rate of 160.01 for importation of PMS in January 2015 and an
additional sum of $14,607,992.69 at the bid rate of 310 for importation
of PMS in June 2016. But responding, Andrew Haladu, a Director of H. A. R
Petroleum Services Limited, denied the receipt of the forex from the
apex bank, explaining that it handled logistics related services and
never participated in importation of petroleum products. He said:
“Please note that H.A.R Petroleum Services Limited is primarily involved
in the provisions of logistics support for bulk supplies belonging to
select majors and Independent who are clients.” “H.A.R petroleum
services limited acts in an agency capacity to its clients for the
sourcing and delivery of bulk supplies to nominated facilities as
instructed by same clients. We undertake all logistics related to
ensuring that the Daughter vessel of the client is berthed and
discharged to their nominated facility with strict adherence to the
requirements of security and regulatory agencies present at the seaport.
“We as a company, at no time, have had cause to purchase Gasoline from
NNPC Retail, PPMC or any other source, neither have we at any time
approached or received authority to import Gasoline into Nigeria from
the Petroleum Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, of the Department of
Petroleum Resources, DPR. In like manner, we could not, therefore, have
received forex from CBN for gasoline. “In regards to the documents
requested, we are unfortunately unable to provide these, as these
documents would be in custody of our clients, who have imported the
cargoes you seek clarity. For the transactions specifically mentioned in
your letter, these would seem to both be Gasoline imports of Total
Nigeria PLC for which we handled the logistics of managing the supply to
their facilities.” Worried by the failure of the company’s Chief
Executive Officer to appear before the adhoc committee, Igbokwe had last
week, asked the Inspector General of Police and Comptroller General of
Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, to determine the whereabouts of the
official and ensure his appearance  on Friday, April 7, 2017.

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