Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has added a new twist to the NNPC story, saying he approved contracts of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation 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 worth $25 billion without due process.
In a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, Kachikwu listed some of the contracts as “crude term contracts valued at over $10 billion, DSDP contracts valued over $5 billion and AKK pipeline contract valued approximately $3bn.
“Others are various financing allocation funding contracts with the NOCs valued over $3 billion as well as various NPDC production service contracts valued at over $3 billion to $4 billion”.
But the NNPC dismissed the allegations as “baseless”, maintaining that it followed due process in awarding contracts.
The company had also said Kachikwu’s consent was not needed in the award of the contracts which he complained about.
In another report, the NNPC boss, Baru reportedly said President Buhari approved two separate oil contracts on July 10 and July 31 worth
$1 billion and $780 million, respectively, during the time he was on his sick bed in London.
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 admitted inherited and also to incentivize much needed fresh investments in the oil & gas sector,” he tweeted.