12 Oct 2017

NNPC Mess: Osinbajo Clarifies Earlier Statement, Denies Approving Contracts

It appears that the last as not been heard about the NNPC contract issues brought to light by Minister of State for Petroleum, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu.
Nigeria's vice president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has clarified his earlier statement where it was assumed he had backed the alleged NNPC position that he signed the contracts while the president was away as he was then acting president.

But according to a clarification statement on the Daily Trust website from Laolu Akande, spokesman to the vice president, Osinbajo did not sign any contracts but only approved loans for the NNPC.

Looks like the VP has taken several steps to distance himself from the issue.

From Daily Trust Newspaper Nigeria

“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 the authorization to secure those loans while the President was away.

"The law actually provides for those authorizations. 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 the 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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