The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has sealed off an Offshore Safety Training Centre along Opete Road in Warri, Delta State, belonging to Opeans Nigeria Limited.
It was alleged that Opeans Nigeria Limited, which operates Offshore Safety Training Centers – both in Warri and Port Harcourt – had been fraudulently issuing International Association of Drilling Contractors, IADC, approved certificates to unsuspecting Nigerians and foreigners working in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry.
It was gathered that some of the alleged forged/fraudulent ‘IADC Approved’ certificates being issued by the company include the Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training, BOSIET, Helicopter Underwater Escape Training, HUET and Survival at Sea, SAS.
The BOSIET, HUET and SAS certificates are mandatory safety requirements for traveling to offshore and swamp locations in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry.
It was further alleged that over the years, Opeans has issued thousands of these fraudulent ‘IADC Approved’ BOSIET, HUET, SAS certificates to innocent Nigerians and foreigners, and obtaining money running to millions of naira from these oil workers, under false pretence, by claiming that the certificates and courses are accredited by the International Association of Drilling Contractors, IADC.
Since these certificates are mandatory requirements in the industry, and with this allegation, a case of compromising the safety of personnel working in the sector, as well as putting the lives of innocent Nigerians and foreigners in grave danger, has been thrown to the fore.
When contacted via email, the IADC Vice President Accreditation Operations, Mark Denkowski, stated that the company is not an accredited IADC training provider.
He further stated that the IADC does not currently have a BOSIET and HUET accreditation programme, stressing that the use of the IADC Logo on training certificates by Opeans was an abuse of the IADC Logo.
Sources within the EFCC informed that Opeans was petitioned and the Commission commenced investigation, adding that the EFCC raided Opeans Offshore Safety Training Centre along Opete Road in Warri, and uncovered several alleged forged ‘IADC Approved’ certificates. They informed that, to prevent the public from being continuously defrauded, the Commission had to, according to them, seal the fake training centre.
According to the sources also, the Directors of Opeans are currently being questioned by the Commission.
Efforts to reach the Management of Opeans and Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, who are the safety regulators for comments, proved abortive.
It was gathered that a concerned Nigerian had petitioned the EFCC on the alleged fraudulent activities of the company, which led to the commencement of the investigation.