Petroleum minister, friends allegedly plot diversion of $650m oil contracts

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Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva has allegedly connived with some cronies to corner four Oil Mining Leases worth $650 million previously owned by Addax Petroleum to proxy firms operated by the cronies, a report has said.

According to the Sahara Reporters report, the minister and his crony, Emeka Offor were plotting to orchestrate the award of the OMLs to Kaztec Engineering Limited/Salvic Petroleum Resources Limited, even when the company never bidded for them.

This, the report said, was to be done with the aid of the report of a committee headed by Magnus Abe, another crony of Offor, which was to examine the controversy surrounding the four leases – OMLs 123, 124, 126 and 137 and make recommendations to the minister.

Abe’s committee report is said to be due for submission to the minister on Monday, and the minister is expected to rely on it to recommend to the Federal Government to adopt its recommendations that will favour Offor, who owns Kaztec Engineering Limited, and freeze out Addax, the original operators of the OMLs.

Sylva is said to be aided by President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura in the quest.

The report quoted a source as saying that when the Federal Government reconstituted the NNPC Board on May 30, Offor nominated Abe to represent the South-South and his cousin, Dr Stephen Dike, to represent South-East.

Offor was said to have achieved this through Sylva and Daura, whose influence on President Buhari is well documented.

“He has adequately taken care of Mamman Daura. lt is an anathema and highest fraud and corruption of the century that they want to defraud the Nigerian people of $650 million via Kaztec for a contract awarded to Addax, which was never awarded to Kaztec.

“Now that Sylva has set up and received the kangaroo report of Sen Magnus Abe’s committee, the next plan is that the Ministry of Petroleum via Sylva and his accomplices will now recommend to the Federal Government to implement. Then, Emeka Offor, via his company, Kaztec, will now go to court to force the Federal Government to implement,” the online newspaper quoted the unnamed source as saying.

Although the online newspaper reported earlier in the month that the four OMLs had been taken from Addax and awarded to Kaztec, the presidency recently announced that the OMLs 123, 124, 126 and 137 were to be returned to Addax Petroleum.

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