Nigeria sacks seven top oil executives

The state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has sacked seven senior managers over multimillion-dollar fuel imports fraud, a spokesperson for the firm said on Monday.

The dismissal of the senior managers in the commercial department of the group was approved at the weekend by President Olusegun Obasanjo, Levi Ajuonuma said.

He said the action followed the recommendation of a committee set up to look into the high port fees paid on imported petrol and the alleged falsification of bills of lading, which cost Nigeria about $108-million last year.

“The affected personnel deliberately ensured that about 10 and 15 petrol cargo vessels arrived to berth at the same time. This resulted in delay in berthing and high cost of demurrage,” Ajuonuma said.

The NNPC currently imports about 70% of the petrol consumed in the country since the four state-owned refineries cannot meet local demand because of corruption and inefficiency.

Although private oil marketers are now allowed under a deregulation policy introduced last October to import and fix prices of petrol and diesel, the NNPC still plays a major role in fuel importing and distribution.—Sapa-AFP

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