Former Minister for Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, has responded to the recent narratives made the former Group Managing Directors (GMDs) of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), with regard to the ongoing legislative probe of the oil swap and Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA) deals as nothing but fabricated lies, deviously concocted to sustain the escalating evil narratives against her person.
During their appearances before the legislators last week, Mr. Austin Oniwon, who was GMD, NNPC, from May 17, 2010 to June 12, 2012, and Mr. Andrew Yakubu, June 12, 2012, to August 2, 2014, said the former minister had granted them approvals for contracts extension.
Speaking through her spokesman, Mr. Clem Aguiyi, yesterday, the former minister denied approving $24 billion for Renewal of the Crude Oil/Refined Products Exchange Agreement without contracts.
She said she gave approval for the renewal of the the following contracts: one-year term each for both Messrs Trafigura Beheer BV, and Messrs Societe Ivoirienne de Raffinage (SIR), in August 2010; two-year term in August 2011 for the same companies, and one-year term to NNPC subsidiary, Duke Oil, in January 2011.
She added that two other approvals were consequently sought by the GMD, NNPC, the first of these on August 29, 2014, seeking to ratify all three aforementioned approvals, which had apparently variously expired during the course of 2013.
She said she approved all three “in view of the criticality of the situation. Expiry of those terms was put at December 31, 2014, following assurances to the Minister that the contractual obligations of the parties to NNPC had, in fact, been fully met, despite the regrettable lapse in renewal time.”
Concerning the OPA deal, the former Minister recalled giving fresh approvals for Offshore Processing Agreements, OPA, on October 28, 2014, following the recommendation of the then Group Managing Director. The approvals included a new term of two years commencing from January 1, 2015, for Sahara Energy Resources Ltd; Aiteo Energy and Duke Oil.
She said due process was followed in giving all approvals.
“NNPC strongly recommended and outlined the benefits of the OPA over the swaps and put forward the case for migration from the OPA and crude exchange (SWAP) contracts to OPAs fully.
“NNPC posited that the ‘experienced benefits of the OPA to the Federation’ would be much greater. All approvals were due process-driven and were only given by the Minister, following formal statutory written requests, which contained the technical basis for the renewal and were sent to the Minister by the GMD-NNPC, as is the normal practice.”
The House of Representatives adhoc Committee responsible for investigating the controversial crude oil swap deal had on Monday, February 22, summoned Diezani Alison-Madueke, to appear before the house on March 3, to explain her role in the crude oil swap during her tenure as Petroleum Minister.
She was also asked to come with the following documents: a proof of Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval, NNPC board resolution on the deal as well as evidence of the approval limit of the board and that of the Minister and GMD and any other relevant document that will aid them in their investigation.