K400m fuel goes missing

Investigations conducted revealed that most of the reported storage losses at the NFT were as a result of abnormal fuel levels during the loading of trucks and possible thefts. According to a letter from Pricewaterhouse Coopers dated March 29, 2006, which was written to NFT commercial manager Bernard Odhiambo by L. Ndima a representative of the Zambia National Oil Company liquidator Pricewaterhouse Coopers conducted an exercise that revealed several anomalies in the manner the NFT was being managed. “We refer to the exercise conducted by our team together with the NFT staff, and SGS inspectors on 24 and 25 March 2006, to establish the cause of the storage losses estimated at K400 million by Indeni,” read the letter in part.” “As you are aware, we undertook a spot check on 20 loaded trucks over the course of two days, our findings revealed that 13 trucks were loaded above the mark by three to eight centimetres which have resulted in losses estimated at 21 000 litres or approximately K18 million as a result of the overload.” Among the observations that were made and which the firm believe could be an indication of a larger problem of pilferage at the NFT are that: “Truck with registration number ACH 1273 was sealed before SGS inspection. This is a contravention of the requirement that all trucks are to be dipped by an independent inspector prior to sealing and in order to ensure that the right volumes are loaded onto the trucks,” stated Ndima in his letter. “Truck with registration number ACC 6795/ACD 381T was loaded and driven to the offloading bay without SGS inspection and authority from NFT management. “Thereafter, the gantry operator who loaded the truck left the gantry without permission from the gantry supervisor. “We interviewed the driver together with the commercial manager and he admitted that the truck had been overloaded in one compartment and needed to be offloaded. “The truck was detained until the following day when the issue would have been resolved because it was getting dark. The following day the truck was offloaded in the absence of our team. “The failure to carry out proper controls when loading fuel onto trucks and inspection after loading poses a high risk of pilferage in a particularly sensitive work station as the gantry. A Kobil hired truck with registration number ACC 2415/ACC 549T was loaded without being reassized. “This was despite the fact that it had been reported to be defective and in need of assize, a week before our inspection.” In its findings, Pricewaterhouse Coopers stated that the NFT monitoring and control system was weak and that SGS inspectors were not executing their duties as expected. It further stated that much of the reported storage losses were as a result of abnormal fuel levels during the loading of trucks and possible pilferage and circumvention of controls. The firm urged Indeni as NFT managers to take necessary steps to address the anomalies it noted. And sources within Indeni management disclosed that Indeni managing director Luis Urbano admitted the rampant thefts at the NFT during a meeting that was held in the Indeni management conference room on Wednesday last week. The source said the human resources manager Justin Masiye and the industrial relations officer Victor Chizuma attended the meeting, which was held between 11:30 and 13:30 hours. The source said Urbano complained that he felt like resigning because no one was telling him the truth about the thefts at the terminal. “The MD said he was shocked that there was such magnitude of theft at the terminal. He even said that he intends to replace the whole crop at the terminal with new people,” the source said. “He also said that there was a man who was coming from MobilNdola to manage the terminal because he has a lot of experience in dealing with pilferage.” But Indeni general manager Fred Zama said he would only react to the issue after studying the commercial manager’s response to the Pricewaterhouse Coopers report. “There is already a reply which was made by my colleague Mr Odhiambo to that report. So I would like to understand how this thing was moving… I have to see his reply before I can make a comment or react to this. So give me some time,” said Zama. ‘ Lusaka Post.

May 2006
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