The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on Review of Pump Price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) has uncovered a $270million forex exchange diversion scam involving Ascon Oil Ltd and Folawiyo Energy Ltd.
The committee led by Mr. Nnana Igbokwe (PDP, Imo) made the disclosure on Thursday 5th of May, 2017 at its resumed investigative hearing.
The committee discovered from documents from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that the huge sums of foreign exchange which were collected by the oil traders for the purpose of purchasing petroleum products were diverted for other uses.
The committee also queried the oil companies for diversion of petroleum products that were eventually traced to them.
Accordingly, the committee summoned the Managing Director (MD) of Ascon Oil Ltd to appear before it on the 15 of May while Folawiyo Energy Ltd representative, Mr. Oladikpo Makujola was handed over to the anti-fraud unit of the Nigeria Police Force to make further statements on allegations of diversion of petroleum products and forex.According to Igbokwe, Ascon Oil Ltd collected Forex worth $80million and Folawiyo Energy Ltd received $190million for the purchase of petroleum products which they allegedly diverted.
The committee however decided to place for further enquiry 25metric tons of petroleum products under the custody of Folawiyo Energy Ltd which was discharged in June 2016 at MT High Efficiecy by Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) that could not be traced.
In his reaction, Mr. Makujola denied owing PPMC stock, saying his company could not take responsibility for any missing product because “we only follow what they instructed us to do.
“For the record, my company has never owed PPMC in finance or stock, it will be uncharitable for them to claim we owe them.
“They are responsible for evacuation of their stock we only do the physical inspection.”
Folawiyo Energy Ltd, a downstream Oil and Gas company focused on the storage and distribution of refined fuel product is owned by billionaire Tijani Babatunde Folawiyo while ASCON OIL, founded in 1985 as an independent marketer of petroleum products is led by Barr (Mrs.) Grace N. Olowofoyeku.