Thursday, 12 October 2017

I approved NNPC joint venture contracts – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said he approved contracts of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) while he was acting President.

Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu had written a memo to President Muhammadu Buhari, where he accused Baru of $26bn contract scam.

Kachikwu also accused the NNPC boss of insubordination and sidelining him from important decisions.

Baru had also responded to the allegations, stating that no law mandates him to discuss contracts with Kachikwu.

Recall that a critical analysis of the NNPC reply to Kachikwu showed that NNPC received presidential approvals for at least two contract awards during the time President Muhammadu Buhari was on medical leave in London.

The two oil contracts worth N640 billion were reported to have approved by Buhari while on medical leave in London.

NNPC's statement said it received presidential approvals for two oil contracts on July 10 and July 31 worth $1 billion and $780 million, respectively, while Buhari was on medical leave.

When quizzed further, Ughamadu added, “Presidential approval is presidential approval.”

The NNPC later said Vice President Yemi Osinbajo approved the contracts while President Muhammadu Buhari was on medical leave.

Spokesman of the Vice-President, Laolu Akande in a series of tweets on Thursday, said Osinbajo approved the contracts.

He said this was to deal with a huge backlog of unpaid cash calls and incentivise investments.

“In response to media inquiries on NNPC joint venture financing, VP Osinbajo, as Ag President approved recommendations after due diligence & adherence to established procedure. Action necessary to deal with huge backlog of unpaid cash calls which Buhari adm. inherited and also to incentivize much needed  fresh investments in the oil & gas sector,” he tweeted.

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