The crème de la crème in the Nigerian oil industry as well as the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, gathered recently in a frontal display of wealth at a party organised in Abuja by the new Group Executive Director of the NNPC, Aisha Farida Katagum, to celebrate her promotion.
Sources told SaharaReporters that the corporation incurred humongous expenses at the party where they treated themselves to the country’s scarce resources like royalties.
The party is coming amid several allegations of corruption and contracts racketeering among the top workers of the corporation.
The caterer at the party reportedly provided a seven-course meal that made sure guests had the best of time, one of them added.
“NNPC has been highly politicised under the current administration. You will recall the announcement of promotions to top management in NNPC last week. To our great disgust, a party was thrown in Abuja to celebrate Aisha Farida Katagum who was promoted to GED Corporate Services.
“Obviously celebrating the money and the corruption that is within reach; even the NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari was also in attendance with the musicians hailing him. Others were; the Group Executive Director (GED) finance and accounts, Umar Ajiya, the new Group General Manager (GGM) Crude oil marketing department (COMD), Mrs Rose Essiet, GGM supply chain management (SCM), Sophia Mbakwe and GGM National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Bala Wunti.
“Bala Wunti is well known for selling contracts in NNPC; he and other top management staff were dancing at a party few days after the promotions were announced.
“These people are clearly not focused on the task ahead but celebrating corruption. This is very unbecoming of technocrats in a crass display of unprofessionalism,” a top source told SaharaReporters.
Some of the top management staff of NNPC have been accused of receiving bribes recently in exchange for favourable contracts.
In July 2021, court documents showed how a former United Kingdom-based trader for Glencore Plc, Anthony Stimler, conspired with others to make millions of U.S. dollars in corrupt bribe payments to officials in Nigeria.
The former trader pleaded guilty over what prosecutors in the United States described as his role in a scheme to bribe.
A Bloomberg report said that Stimler admitted to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and commit money laundering at a hearing in Manhattan federal court conducted by video.
Prosecutors had said millions of dollars in bribes were paid to officials in Nigeria, in exchange for NNPC awarding oil contracts and providing “more lucrative grades of oil on more favorable delivery terms.”
Prosecutors had alleged that in Nigeria, in exchange for the bribes, officials caused the Nigerian state-owned and state-controlled oil company (NNPC) to award oil contracts and to provide more lucrative grades of oil on more favorable delivery terms to Glencore, two wholly-owned subsidiaries of the company, and their business partners.