Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Thursday, blew the lid off on the role Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Ibe Kachikwu played in the controversial $10billion Crude Term Contracts he claimed he was not consulted on.
“The legal and procedural requirements are that all contracts above $20m would need to be reviewed and approved by the Board of NNPC. Mr. President over one year of Dr. Baru’s tenure, no contract has been run through the Board. This is despite my diplomatic encouragement to Dr. Baru to do so to avoid wrongfully painting you as a President who does not allow Due Process to thrive,” the minister had written in his letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The oil corporation had in a statement faulted Kachikwu’s allegation against its GMD, Dr. Maikanti Baru.
The minister had in his letter to Buhari accused Baru of insubordination and awarding $25 billion contracts without consulting him adding that the NNPC’s boss’s action violated the corporation Act.
Rising to Baru’s defence again on Wednesday, NNPC said Kachikwu made an input into the shortlisting of 40 off-takers for the Crude Term Contracts, The Nation quoted a fact sheet it obtained from the oil giant as saying.
It said the minister recommended seven companies, which were engaged, adding that the Minister also nominated two companies for the alleged Direct Sales, Direct Purchase (DSDP) transactions, which he claimed in his letter to Buhari were worth $5billion.
Quoting from the fact sheet, the paper reported: “As for the off-takers for 2017/2018, the minister was consulted by the GMD. Out of a list of 40 off-takers, Kachikwu recommended seven firms, which were accepted by NNPC management without any issue. He initially nominated three and later added four. His judgment was respected, accepted and approved by NNPC management alongside 33 others.
“The seven off-takers he recommended are as follows: North-West Petroleum; Setana Energy; Emo Oil; Litasco Supply and Trading Company; Voyage Oil and Gas; Levene International and Cespa Trading. Since the Minister strongly recommended all these companies, we concurred with his recommendation which was based on a professional judgment.”