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Last Updated: Monday, 19 April, 2004, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
Nigerian oilmen sacked over scam
Shell flow station in Nigeria
Nigeria is oil-rich but most Nigerians are dirt-poor
Nigeria's state-run oil company is reported to have sacked seven senior managers in connection with a multi-million-dollar fraud scheme.

The dismissals have been approved by President Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) told the French AFP news agency.

A NNPC spokesman told AFP that an officially inquiry had uncovered a huge fraud scheme involving imported fuel.

The report concluded that the fraud had cost the country nearly $110m, he said.

Fuel imports

The NNPC currently imports some 70% of the petrol consumed in the country as the four state-owned refineries cannot meet local demand.

Private oil marketers in Nigeria, are now allowed under a deregulation policy introduced last October to import and fix prices of petrol and diesel.

But the state-run NNPC still plays a major role in fuel importing and distribution.

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