Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has admitted that he granted authorisation to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for two oil contracts worth N640 billion.
A statement issued on the verified account of the presidential spokesperson, Laolu Akande, said Mr. Osinbajo approved the contracts in his capacity as acting president in July.
In response to media inquiries on NNPC joint venture financing, VP Osinbajo, as Ag President approved recommendations after due diligence…
— Laolu Akande (@akandeoj) October 12, 2017
“In response to media inquiries on NNPC joint venture financing, VP Osinbajo, as Ag President approved recommendations after due diligence,” Mr. Akande said.
This is coming barely a day after the apex oil firm disclosed that the presidential approvals it received for two oil contracts worth N640 billion were granted by the Vice President during his time as Acting President.
On Wednesday, the spokesperson for the NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, had said that the “Acting President Yemi Osinbajo gave the approval.”
Recall that a critical analysis of the NNPC reply to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, showed that the NNPC received presidential approvals for at least two contract awards during the time President Muhammadu Buhari was on medical leave in London.
The statement said NNPC received presidential approvals for two oil contracts on July 10 and July 31 worth $1 billion and $780 million, respectively, while Buhari was on medical leave.
When quizzed further, Ughamadu added, “Presidential approval is presidential approval.”
The development is coming on the back of a memo written to President Muhammadu Buhari by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, in which he accused Baru, NNPC GMD, of $26bn contract scam.
Kachikwu had also accused the NNPC boss of insubordination and sidelining him from important decisions.