..says Ag. Presidential approvals were for financing arrangements
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has denied granting the NNPC two oil contracts worth N640 billion.But this issue became more confusing as the Vice President through his media aide Laolu Akande, who had earlier owned up to the authorisation of the contract denied the initial tweet that he only approved loans bothering on backlog of unpaid Joint cash call ventures and not contracts as earlier stated.
Debunking the earlier statement, Vice President, through Laolu Akande, in a statement which was obtained by our correspondent explained that what Vice President 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 made this disclosure when he was approached by newsmen after the ground-breaking multi-billion Naira historic Bonny-Bodo road project, in Bonny, Rivers State.
Vice President said: “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”, it stated.
Laolu Akande, however, said: “Earlier today, I had 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.”
It would be recalled that in a letter written by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu in which he accused the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru of gross insubordination may have elicited more confusion within the Presidency as two different statements had emanated from Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.