Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reportedly sealed Opeans Safety Training Centre, in Opete community, Udu council area of Delta state, belonging to Opeans Nigeria Limited.
The centre was inaugurated in June 2019 by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas, who was represented by by Captain S. M. Tasui.
The offshore safety training school which offers various maritime safety courses is owned by the chairman of the Enugu State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Ben Nwoye.
It was alleged that Opeans Nigeria Limited which has centres in Port Harcourt and Udu area of Delta State was accused of fraudulently issuing International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) approved certificates to innocent Nigerians and foreigners working in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry.
It was gathered that some of the forged/fraudulent ‘IADC Approved’ certificates being issued by Opeans Nigeria Limited includes the Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET), Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET), 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 Nigeria Limited have issued thousands of these fraudulent ‘IADC Approved’ BOSIET, HUET, SAS certificates to innocent Nigerians and Foreigners, and obtaining money into millions of Naira from unsuspecting Oil and Gas workers under false pretense by claiming that the certificates and courses are accredited by the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC).
The BOSIET, HUET & SAS are mandatory certifications needed to travel offshore of the Nigeria Oil and Gas industry, but it was alleged that thousands of these fraudulent certificates have been issued to innocent Nigerians and foreigners by Opeans Nigeria Limited, thereby compromising the safety of personnel working in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry as well as putting the lives of innocent Nigerians and foreigners in grave danger.
When contacted via email the IADC Vice President Accreditation Operations Mark Denkowski stated that, Opeans Nigeria Limited is not an accredited IADC training provider.
He further stated that the International Association of Drilling Contractors IADC does not currently have a BOSIET and HUET accreditation program. That, the use of the IADC logo on training certificates by Opeans Nigeria Limited is an abuse of the IADC logo.
Sources within the EFCC informed newsmen that Opeans Nigeria Limited was petitioned and the Commission commenced investigation, adding that the EFCC raided Opeans Offshore Safety Training Centre in Opete and uncovered several allegedly forged ‘IADC Approved’ certificates.
Sources said to prevent the public from being continuously defrauded, the Commission had to seal the training centre.
According to the sources, the Directors of Opeans Nigeria Limited are currently being questioned by the Commission.
Efforts to reach the Management of Opeans Nigeria Limited and Director of Department of Petroleum Resources DPR who are the safety regulators for comments proved abortive.
Efforts to also speak with the Executive Director of Opeans Nigeria Limited (ONL), Dr. Ben Nwoye, proved abortive as telephone calls to his line were not connecting at the time of filing this report.