I never ap­proved NNPC con­tracts — Os­in­bajo

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Isi­aka Wak­ili

Vice Pres­i­dent Yemi Os­in­bajo has de­nied ap­prov­ing the Nige­rian Na­tional Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion con­tracts dur­ing the pe­riod of Pres­i­dent Muhammadu Buhari’s med­i­cal va­ca­tion in London.

Os­in­bajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a state­ment last night, quoted him as clar­i­fy­ing in Bonny Is­land where he flagged off the Bodo-Bonny Road, Rivers State, that he only granted loans and not con­tracts.

Akande said when ap­proached by re­porters after the ground-break­ing multi-bil­lion naira road pro­ject, Os­in­bajo ex­plained specif­i­cally that the approvals he granted 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.

He quoted the vice pres­i­dent as say­ing: “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.”

Akande said he too had ear­lier yes­ter­day 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.”

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