Experts have insisted that the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan remains liable for the large scale corruption trailing multi-billion Naira contracts awarded to two local firms, PPP Fluid Mechanics and Ocean Marine Securities, OMS to move crude oil from Excravos to the refineries in Warri, Port Harcourt and Bonny Island.
An online blog, PREMIUM TIMES had recently published details of the deals carried out under the regime of the immediate past regime of Jonathan, alleging that a huge sum of N509.3b was paid to the company.
The publication listed the promoters of PPP Fluid Mechanic to include Captain Idahosa Okunbor and Mr. Tunde Ayeni as having fleeced the nation in connivance with the former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
According to the blog, the deal which began in 2011 is said to have been devoid of due process as all the needed steps were sidestepped by Alison-Madueke before government came awarded the contract, at what source described as rather exorbitant.
“The cost of this contract is several times higher than it takes to transport crude oil through the more efficient pipelines which PPMC, a subsidiary of the NNPC operates. The cost of transporting a barrel of crude through the pipeline is as low as N5.97,” the publication had maintained.
Reacting to the publication, some experts in the oil and gas industry told THE NEW DIPLOMAT in confidence that the deal is nothing but a scam that was primed to milk the nation dry.
They hinged their position on the fact that the contracts were never advertised and that no competitive bidding took place for Nigerians to have equal opportunity to participate in the deal.
“Since this was not done, it is a clear violation of Nigeria’s procurement law.” One of the sources who pleaded not to be named told our correspondent.
They also stated that the contracts were needless as the last government neglected cheaper options but were awarded by sheer presidential and ministerial discretion.
PREMIUM TIMES made allusion to this fact when it stated “They were selected by a board led by Mrs. Madueke, which also had NNPC Group Managing Director at the time, Austin Oniwon, and eight others, including Yinka Omorogbe, the legal adviser to the corporation.
“These are some of the Bazaars that took place under the last government. It is unfortunate that it occurred and I want the new government to probe deep into it and recover the monies that were paid to these companies.” The source added.
According to him, the contracts were needless as the nation had (and still has) enough capacity to move its crude from the point of extraction to the points of refining.
“How they (past government officials) intentionally circumvented the process is something the current government should look into,” the source said, adding that “they should also look at the desirability or otherwise of the contracts when the nation has the capacity to do what the companies claimed they were doing.”