Oil Giant, Total, Enmeshed In Bribery, Corruption Scandal As EFCC Wades In

October 21, 2021
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TotalEnergies Marketing Nigeria Plc, formerly known as ‘Total Nigeria Plc,’ recently underwent an organizational restructure, prompting accusations that the international oil company is attempting to conceal bribes, abuse of authority, and corruption.

The unions have spoken out against the changes at Total Nigeria Upstream, with certain members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers Senior Staff Association (PENGASAN) stating that Nigerians are being targeted for layoffs.

They further claim that Patrick Olinma, the executive director in charge of the company’s commercial efforts, abruptly resigned.

During his investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Olinma was discreetly pushed away (EFCC).

He was not only replaced on the board of the Nigeria LNG Ltd, but he was also retired.

The anti-graft agency also sent a letter to Total Nigeria’s MD/CEO, asking sensitive information on Olinma.

Meanwhile, the unions claim that Mike Sangster, the CEO, and his management “have set their sights on executing heinous anti-staff and anti-Nigerian policies with gusto using deception, defiance, subterfuge, and plain dishonesty in all engagements with the branch leadership,” according to the unions.

“What is more symbolic with the roll-out of the new organisation at Total is the turn of events symbolising a big lesson from one of the laws of nature,” a senior member of one of the unions told reporters.

“Mike Sangster had given full powers to one of its fast-rising executive directors, Mr Patrick Olinma, to design the structure and he went ahead to package a juicy position/portfolio for himself that combined important roles previously held by two directors and even more into one so that he (Olinma) would become the super director. However, he was caught up just before roll-out when he was investigated by the EFCC agencies and an internal audit for alleged professional misconduct and corrupt enrichment.”

Oil giant, Total, enmeshed in bribery, corruption scandal as EFCC wades in

Among the allegations being investigated is that he deceived the sister company, Total Plc, listed on the Nigerian stock exchange, by using his pseudo company to purchase a luxury apartment previously owned by Total Plc in Ikoyi without Total knowing that he was involved.

He is also being investigated over allegations of collecting bribes and kickbacks.

In what seems to be a preparation for a showdown, the employee unions continue to exert pressure on Total Nigeria’s management on the organisational restructuring, insisting it is a ploy to “execute the 50 per cent staff reduction in Nigeria”.

Charles Ebereonwu, communication manager, Total Country Services, described the issues as mere allegations without further comment.

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