Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday has debunked claims he approved some controversial contracts awarded by the NNPC Group Managing Director, Maikantu Bari. The Vice President said that he only approved two loans for the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and not contracts.
But Osinbajo’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande had earlier said that the Vice President approved contracts for NNPC.
Akande informed that the contracts were approved after due diligence when he was acting President at the time President Muhammadu Buhari was away in the United Kingdom.
Newsheadline247 gathered that the VP’s aide said his principal approved the recommendations for the contracts as part of necessary actions to deal with the backlog of unpaid cash calls and incentivise investments.
Akande also added that Prof. Osinbajo needed to make the clarification in view of media enquiries that followed NNPC’s claim that the contracts were indeed approved by Osinbajo.
Here is Akande’s tweet: “In response to media inquiries on NNPC joint venture financing, VP Osinbajo, as Ag President approved recommendations after due diligence & adherence to established procedure.
“Action necessary to deal with huge backlog of unpaid cash calls which Buhari adm inherited and also to incentivise much needed fresh investments in the oil & gas sector,” Akande had tweeted.
Against Akande’s tweets, Prof. Osibajo said he only granted ‘loans and not contracts’. He said this on Thursday in bonny Island where he flagged off the Bodo-Bonny Road, Rivers State.
The Vice President in his words said ”They were financing loans, joint venture loans, that have procured so in some cases NNPC ventures have to secure loans and they need the authorization to secure those loans.
“While the President was away, I granted authorization which is what the law provides.
“The law actually provides for that authorization, so I did grant all of those, in fact, there were two of them but those are presidential approvals but they are specifically for financing joint ventures and they are Loans not Contracts”, the Vice President stated.