The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has sealed up Opeans Nigeria Limited’s Offshore Safety Training Centre along Opete Road in Warri, Delta State.
Opeans Nigeria Limited, owners of the centres located in Warri and Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was alleged to have been fraudulently issuing International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) approved certificates to some Nigerians and foreigners working in the nation’s oil and gas industry.
The firm’s action was revealed when IADC Vice President in charge of Accreditation and Operations, Mark Denkowski, made it clear in an email and corroborated by an EFCC source, who confirmed that Opeans Nigeria Limited was not an accredited IADC training provider.
“IADC does not currently have a BOSIET and HUET accreditation programme. And the use of the IADC logo on training certificates by Opeans Nigeria Limited is an abuse of the IADC logo,” Denkowski said.
Also, EFCC officials disclosed that the operation to seal off the premises was carried out based on a petition against Opeans Nigeria Limited, which led the commission to commence an investigation, leading to the raiding of Opeans Offshore Safety Training Centre in Warri and uncovered several allegedly forged IADC Approved certificates.
An indider also revealed that a concerned Nigerian had petitioned the EFCC on the firm’s alleged fraudulent activities, and “To prevent members of the public from being further defrauded, the commission had to seal the training center, while the company’s directors are currently being quizzed by the commission.”
Some of the forged IADC certificates allegedly issued by firm are, the Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET), Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET) and Survival at Sea (SAS).
BOSIET, HUET and SAS certificates are mandatory safety requirements for traveling to offshore and swampy locations in the Nigeria oil and gas industry.
The company also allegedly issued thousands of fraudulent certificates to Nigerians and foreigners alike after obtaining money amounting to millions of Naira from unsuspecting oil and gas workers under false pretense by claiming that the certificates and courses were accredited by IADC.
These have compromised the safety of personnel working in the Nigeria oil and gas industry and have jeopardised the lives of innocent Nigerians and foreigners.
Denkowski further stated that Opeans Nigeria Limited was not an accredited IADC training provider and does not currently have a BOSIET and HUET accreditation programme while the use of its logo on training certificates was an abuse of the IADC logo.
Efforts to reach management of Opeans Nigeria Limited and Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) responsible for safety regulators for comments were not successful as at press time.