Thursday, 12 October 2017

Osinbajo Keeps Mum As NNPC Claims Vice President Gave Approval For N640bn Contract

               
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said on Wednesday that the presidential approvals it received for two oil contracts worth N640 billion were granted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during his time as acting president.

The “Acting President Yemi Osinbajo gave the approval,” Ndu Ughamadu, spokesperson for the NNPC, was quoted by Premium Times as saying noon Wednesday.

But for the ensuing 10 hours, Mr. Osinbajo’s office could not confirm or counter the NNPC’s claim despite repeated requests from the Newspaper.


The NNPC’s statement on Wednesday after that of Tuesday and the presidency’s handling of the controversy surrounding the operations of the state-oil firm further highlight the opaque nature of the running of the corporation.

Mr. Ughamadu’s declaration comes hours after a critical aspect of a Monday morning statement by the NNPC which suggested that the state-run oil giant had received presidential approvals for at least two contract awards during the time President Muhammadu Buhari was on medical leave in London.

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The NNPC listed the contracts as part of its response to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, who had earlier accused the head of NNPC of abuse of contract regulations and insubordination in a memo to Mr. Buhari.

In the August 30 memo, Mr. Kachikwu said Maikanti Baru awarded up to $25 billion in oil contracts under different guises without recourse to NNPC board or himself as its chairman.

The memo sparked nationwide controversy followings its leakage on the Internet October 3.

The NNPC pushed back in a statement Monday, saying Mr. Kachikwu’s complaints were misplaced as the Mr. Baru only needed to get input and approval from President Buhari, who’s also the substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources.

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