I never approved NNPC contracts — Osinbajo
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.”