crude SECURITY operatives led by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Nigeria Police, the Department of State Security Service, DSS, have interrogated the managing directors of the country’s four refineries concerning the role they played in the controversial crude swap and how they processed the crude allocated to them.
The security operatives have also laid siege on top management staffers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to stop their escape ahead of the planned probe of the multi-billion dollar crude swap which allegedly cost the Federal Government huge resources with insignificant quantity of refined product.
A senior official of the EFCC told Nigerian Pilot at the weekend that the commission, in conjunction with other security agencies, particularly the DSS, had commenced investigation into the alleged fraud.
The source added that the agency received a security brief two weeks ago that some management staffers in NNPC and their other subsidiaries involved in the fraud were planning to jet out of the country, which triggered the commission and other security agencies, particularly the DSS and the police, to lay siege on them, especially at the airports, border towns and their homes to avoid their fleeing the country. He said that the combined team of the security operatives are in plain clothes within the domain of the affected staffers of the NNPC.
The official said the probe of the NNPC’s contracts had been extended to the managing directors of the four refineries in the country.
He said that some are being quizzed in Abuja by security agents, who are eager to get an insight into the allocation of crude to the refineries and how the crude was swapped.
The interrogation will be to ascertain how they have been managing the crude allocated to the refineries and what quantity they processed.
It was learnt that the EFCC and DSS launched the investigation of the refineries’ chiefs last month.
A top official said that the DSS wanted to find out how the value of the crude and products was computed.
The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, had in a report, said there was a revenue loss of at least $600million due to a discrepancy between the value of the crude and the products delivered. The figure was taken from its 2009-2011 and 2012 audits of the oil and gas industry.
Some contract-holders have said that the discrepancies in value were reconciled.
Product exchange (swap) and Offshore Processing Agreement, OPA, are transactions in which the NNPC supplies the other party with crude in return for refined products for sale locally on a value-for-value basis.
Under the OPA, the NNPC provides crude oil to another party which would refine the crude on behalf of the corporation and return the refined products to it based on the yield slate of the refinery. The NNPC provides the crude and pays the refining and other incidental costs.
But an NNPC source told Nigerian Pilot that managing directors of the refineries were not involved in the swap and OPA arrangements.
According to the source, it is completely between the oil traders and the Federal Government.
He added that the oil deals were created as a result of the poor state of the refineries, adding that the plants are now begging for supply of crude to enable them produce.
The official further explained that because the refineries were down and the rule was that the NNPC must remit the dollar value of the 445,000 barrels daily supply into the Federation Account, the corporation sells the crude at international market price and remits into the Federation Account.
“The Swap and OPA arrangements were considered economically wise and beneficial to the government in terms of value addition, that is why it was introduced, the source added.

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