Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says he approved contracts of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) when President Muhammadu Buhari was on medical vacation in the UK.
Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, had accused Maikanti Baru, group managing director (GMD) of the NNPC, of awarding contracts without due process, an allegation that the corporation denied.
But in a series of tweets on Thursday, Laolu Akande, spokesman of the vice-president, said Osinbajo approved the contracts as part of necessary actions to deal with a 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.
OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT
NNPC: AG. PRESIDENTIAL APPROVALS WERE FOR FINANCING ARRANGEMENTS NOT CONTRACTS SAYS VP OSINBAJO
"Approached by reporters after the groundbreaking of the multi-billion Naira historic Bonny-Bodo road project, in Bonny, Rivers State, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, explained specifically that the approvals he granted as Acting President to the NNPC while he was Acting President were for financing arrangements for the Joint Ventures between the corporation and IOCs, and not approvals for contracts.
Said he : "these were financing loans. Of course you know what the Joint Ventures are, with the lOCs, like Chevron, that had to procure. In some cases, NNPC and their joint venture partners have to secure loans and they need authorisation to secure those loans while the President was away. The law actually provides for those authorisations. So I did grant two of them and those were presidential approvals but they are specifically for financing joint ventures and they are loans not contracts.
Earlier today, I had tweeted on the same matter thus:
In response to media inquiries on the NNPC Joint Venture financing arrangements, VP Osinbajo, as Acting President approved the recommendations after due diligence and adherence to established procedures. This was of course necessary to deal with huge backlog of unpaid cash calls which the Buhari administration inherited, and to incentivize much needed fresh investments in the oil and gas sector."
￼ACTING PRESIDENT OSINBAJO CHAIRS PEBEC 0A&B. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo during the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council at the Presidential Villa. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. MAY 18 2017