NNPC $25bn Contracts Scandal: I Approved Loans Not Contracts, Osinbajo Clarifies

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday denied approving contracts for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation while President Muhammadu Buhari was away on medical vacation.

He clarified that what he approved were financing loans and not contracts.

Mr. Osinbajo made the clarification while responding reporters’ questions after the ground-breaking of the multi-billion Naira Bonny-Bodo Road project, in Bonny, Rivers State.

Earlier the Vice President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, had claimed that his principal approved N640 billion NNPC contracts, part of $25billion contracts which the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu alleged that NNPC GMD, Maikanti Baru awarded without following due process.

Akande later quoted Osinbajo as saying that the approvals he granted to the NNPC, as Acting President were for financing arrangements for the Joint Ventures between the corporation and IOCs, and not approvals for contracts.

“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 quoted the Vice-President as saying.

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