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Home » BUSINESS » NNPC says Osinbajo gave approval for N640 billion contract; vice president’s office keeps mum

NNPC says Osinbajo gave approval for N640 billion contract; vice president’s office keeps mum

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said on Wednesday that the presidential approvals it received for two oil contracts worth N640 billion were granted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during his time as acting president.

The “Acting President Yemi Osinbajo gave the approval,” Ndu Ughamadu, spokesperson for the NNPC, said in a message on Wednesday.

But for the ensuing 10 hours, Mr. Osinbajo’s office could not confirm or counter the NNPC’s claim despite repeated requests from Newsmen.

The NNPC’s statement on Wednesday after that of Tuesday and the presidency’s handling of the controversy surrounding the operations of the state-oil firm further highlight the opaque nature of the running of the corporation.

Mr. Ughamadu’s declaration comes hours after  a critical aspect of a Monday morning statement by the NNPC which suggested that the state-run oil giant had received presidential approvals for at least two contract awards during the time President Muhammadu Buhari was on medical leave in London.

The NNPC listed the contracts as part of its response to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, who had earlier accused the head of NNPC of abuse of contract regulations and insubordination in a memo to Mr. Buhari.

In the August 30 memo, Mr. Kachikwu said Maikanti Baru awarded up to $25 billion in oil contracts under different guises without recourse to NNPC board or himself as its chairman. The memo sparked nationwide controversy followings its leakage on the Internet October 3.

The NNPC pushed back in a statement Monday, saying Mr. Kachikwu’s complaints were misplaced as the Mr. Baru only needed to get input and approval from President Buhari, who’s also the substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources.

 

The agency also listed some contracts that received presidential approvals between September 2015 and July 2017.

The statement said NNPC received presidential approvals for two oil contracts on July 10 and July 31 worth $1 billion and $780 million, respectively.

The timeline indicated that the contracts were signed on dates Mr. Buhari was on medical leave in London and Mr. Osinbajo was acting as president in line with the Constitution.

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