NNPC: I granted Presidential approval for financing arrangements not contracts - Osinbajo

Buhari Presides Over FEC
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Recall that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu's memo to President Muhammadu Buhari had surfaced in the media last week, indicating that he had been cut out from critical decision-making process which led to the award of $25billion contracts by the NNPC GMD.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has admitted that he approved controversial multi-billlion dollar joint venture oil contracts for the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in his capacity as then Acting President.

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 have to procure.

"While the President was away, I granted authorization which is what the law provides".

Spokesman of the Vice-President, Laolu Akande in a series of tweets on Thursday Osinbajo approved the contracts. "Action necessary to deal with a huge backlog of unpaid cash calls which Buhari adm. inherited and also to incentivize much needed fresh investments in the oil & gas sector".

According to the tweets, the huge backlog of unpaid cash calls were inherited by the current administration and the approval was meant to stimulate the required investments in oil and gas sector.

According to him, Government alone can not plug the infrastructural deficit of the country, that is why the Federal Government welcomes the private sector to take the lead.

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It also condemned the manner by which Kachikwu was allegedly sidelined despite being the chairman of the NNPC board in the awards of contracts and appointments, adding that such disdain was an insult on the people of the Niger Delta region from where the nation's oil and gas are produced.

There have been speculations that the President gave approvals for the two contracts on his sick bed in London.

On the allegations by the minister that major contracts were never reviewed or discussed by the NNPC Board, Baru said that the law and the rules do not require a review or discussion with the Minister of State or the NNPC Board on contractual matters.

He had alleged that Baru using the NNPC awarded $25 billion contract without following due process.

"What is the procedure required for the approval?" They are merely the shortlisting of prospective off-takers of crude oil and suppliers of petroleum products under agreed terms.

The GMD said preliminary exploratory activities had indicated some signs of hydrocarbon in eastern Yobe of the Chad Basin, adding that once the corporation received security clearance, the 3D seismic data acquisition in the area would continue as scheduled.Geidam said his visit was informed by the commitment of President Buhari's government to increase Nigeria's oil reserves through the exploration of oil and gas in the Chad Basin, adding that the policy direction of the Federal Government was of interest to the state because the basin covers a large area including Yobe State.

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