Olam Group has strongly refuted recent news reports claiming that its Nigerian units and subsidiaries were involved in a significant fraud valued in the billions of dollars. The company dismissed these allegations as “baseless and inflammatory statements” in a filing to the Singapore exchange.
The reports, sourced from the Daily Nigerian newspaper and Prime Business Africa, quoted unnamed sources who suggested that Nigeria’s State Security Service is investigating economic fraud amounting to over $50 billion. The alleged fraud is said to involve Olam Nigeria, Olam International, and their nine subsidiaries.
Olam responded by referencing its publicly available audited financial statements. According to these statements, the Olam Group’s cumulative turnover in Nigeria for the fiscal years 2015 to 2022, encompassing all export, import, and domestic sales, amounted to $14 billion. Furthermore, over the same eight-year period, the total value of capital importations made by the entire Olam Group in Nigeria, through Certificates of Capital Importations, was $2.4 billion.
Regarding allegations of fictitious Nigerian directors and the existence of a network of shell companies within Olam Nigeria, the company denied these claims outright. Olam stated that all its Nigerian subsidiaries serve genuine corporate purposes and are subject to audits conducted by Ernst & Young Global’s member firm in Nigeria.
As a result of these developments, trading in Olam shares on the Singapore Exchange was temporarily halted but is scheduled to resume at 2 p.m. Singapore time.