The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has admitted granting approval to the NNPC for two oil contracts worth N640 billion while President Muhammadu Buhari was away on medical leave.
Minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had accused the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, of awarding contracts without due process, an allegation which was denied by the NNPC.
The Vice President’s position was contained in a series of tweets by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, who said he (Osinbajo), approved the contracts in his capacity as acting president in July.
In response to media inquiries on NNPC joint venture financing, VP Osinbajo, as Ag President approved recommendations after due diligence…
— Laolu Akande (@akandeoj) October 12, 2017
Akande said Osinbajo approved the recommendations for the contracts as part of necessary actions to deal with the backlog of unpaid cash calls and incentivise investments.
He also said Osinbajo made the clarification in view of media enquiries that followed NNPC’s claim that the contracts were indeed approved by Osinbajo.
The tweets stated, “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 administration inherited and also to incentivise much needed fresh investments in the oil & gas sector.”
Kachikwu’s letter to the President in which he alleged gross insubordination by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) Maikanti Baru, was leaked to the media last week.
He had alleged that Baru awarded $25 billion contracts without following due process.
He had also alleged that the $25 billion contracts were struck without consulting the office of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources or the board of the corporation.