Investigation by Africa Energy Intelligence has revealed that majority of the 18 local trading concerns chosen NNPC to sell its crude know the ropes, while a few have no experience of this type of contract.
The investigation revealed that some of the newest trading companies hadn’t won an allocation until President Muhammadu Buhari took office.
This was the case of Setana Energy which was incorporated on the Isle of man and according to sources is headed by Edward Edozian. Based in London, he happens to be the cousin of Luiz Edozian, current secretary-general at the energy ministry.
Setana is also present in Ivory Coast where it is represented by Foungniguetene Silue, founder of the local trading concern Sigma Energy.
Another firm appearing on NNPC’s list for the first time, Cassiva Energy, is by businessman Alhaji Nasir Danu who’s very close to the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. Alhaji Nasir Danu was the number two man in the Muhammadu Buhari Presidential Campaign Organization in 2011.
Danu also enjoys close ties with the first lady, Aisha Buhari.
Another surprise debut among NNPC’s local traders was Levene Energy which was awarded one Cargo per month. The firm is said to be controlled by an undisclosed character close to the current minister of state for Aviation, Sirika Hadi, a politician from Katsina State just like President Muhammadu Buhari.
Hadi was one of the leaders of the party founded by Buhari in 2006, Congress for Progressive Change. Levene Energy is currently run by Daniyal Jibrilu, who’s also close to businessman Oba Otudeko, founder of Honeywell and President of FBN Holdings, as well as to Nzan Ogbe, adviser to the former governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke.
Executives at NNPC say Levene Energy as well as the two other pre-mentioned companies were added to the list at the request of the President’s office. The NNPC group’s managing director, Maikanti Kacalla Baru lauded the ‘’transparency’’ of NNPC’s choices.
Companies that lost out of the contracts are some companies that were accustomed to handling NNPC’s cargoes each year. One of the companies that lost out is Petrodel, a firm owned by trader Michael Prest, even though he helped the Buhari government in 2016 to obtain shipments of gasoline when Nigeria was particularly hard hit by shortages.
Another left out was Forte Oil owned by Lagos-based billionaire Femi Otedola, as were others that previously dominated swap arrangements (gasoline for crude) like Talevers, Ontario and Aiteo.
Otedola lost out because of his previous ties with the government of Goodluck Jonathan and his oil resources minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.