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Despite NNPC’s Promises No Petrol In Our Depots – DAPPMA |The Republican News

Maikanti-Baru-NNPC

GMD of the NNPC, dr Maikanti Baru

Okechukwu Nnodim and ’Femi Asu

As fuel queues grew shorter at some filling stations in Lagos on Tuesday, oil marketers under the aegis of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association said they did not have Premium Motor Spirit in their tanks.

DAPPMA said its members had not received petrol in their depots despite the recent announcement by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation that it had started offloading products in depots across the country.

Many filling stations, particularly those run by independent oil marketers in Lagos and Abuja, were closed on Tuesday, while queues of motorists and other petrol seekers persisted in front of the few stations that dispensed the product in the Federal Capital Territory and other near-by states.

The Executive Secretary, DAPPMA, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, said in a statement, “While we cannot confirm or dispute the NNPC’s claims of having sufficient product stock, we can confirm that the products are not in our tanks and as such cannot be distributed. If the products are offshore, then surely, they cannot be considered to be available to Nigerians.”

Adewole stated that DAPPMA members were ready to undertake 24-hour loading and truck-out if petrol was provided to them by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company.

“The NNPC imports and distributes through DAPPMA, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria. Our members pay the PPMC/NNPC in advance for petroleum products, and fully paid up PMS orders that have neither been programmed nor loaded are in excess of 500,000 metric tonnes, about 800 million litres as of today, and enough to meet the nation’s needs for 19 days at a daily estimated consumption of 35 million litres,” he said.

Adewole further stated that the unending fuel crisis was due to the challenges in the Direct Sales, Direct Purchase scheme, rising price of crude in the international market and the high interest rates charged by Deposit Money Banks on loans obtained by marketers.

He said, “We all know that we presently run a fixed price regime of N145 per litre for PMS without any recourse to subsidy claims. However, we also have no control on the international price of crude oil.

“We understand that the NNPC meets this demand largely through its DSDP framework. However, due to price challenges on the DSDP platform, some participants in the scheme failed to meet their supply quota of refined petroleum products, especially PMS, to the NNPC. This is the main reason for this scarcity.”

According to him, anytime the NNPC assumes the role of sole importer, there are issues of distribution, because marketers own 80 per cent of the functional receptive facilities and retail outlets in the country.

“Sadly, some people have blamed marketers for hoarding fuel. Unfortunately, this is so far from the truth. Hoarding of fuel is regarded as an economic sabotage and we assure all Nigerians that our members are not involved in such illicit acts,” Adewole added.

According to a top official of a Lagos-based oil marketing company, who spoke to one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, 80 per cent of the petrol being imported by the NNPC were going to the major marketers, while the rest go to depots with which the NNPC had throughput arrangement and others.

The National Operations Controller, IPMAN, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, said there was improvement in loading at the NNPC depot in Ejigbo, Lagos, adding, “But the NNPC needs to collaborate with the private depots that have facilities to use and can push out the product to members of IPMAN. So, it has to sell the product to private depots it has throughput agreement with.

“We are not saying the NNPC does not have the product. But it has to get to where they can discharge it and load it to our members. You know there was no banking activity in the last four days, and our members pay before loading unlike majors that can get the product on credit. But I believe from tomorrow (Wednesday) when banks resume, there will be more payments into the NNPC system and there will be more loading.”

When contacted to react to the claim by DAPPMA that its members had no PMS in their various depots, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said, “We are verifying the authenticity of that claim because we have been supplying them with products. Even as of yesterday (Monday), we supplied products to the depots.

“However, they (DAPPMA) should complement the efforts of the NNPC. We have been supplying DAPPMA and MOMAN with products. We are replenishing their stock.”

Meanwhile, some motorists, who spoke to The PUNCH as they queued for petrol in different filling stations in Abuja, said they were fed up with government and its agencies with respect to the fuel crisis that has dragged on for about a month.

Odunayo Toyosi, a motorist who spoke at the Forte Oil filling station opposite the Trancorp Hilton, Abuja, said, “All government agencies and officials that are responsible for this untold suffering on Nigerians should be ashamed of themselves right now. They have failed woefully!”

Another motorist at the NNPC mega station on the Kubwa-Zuba Expressway, Gideon Etuk, said, “We’ve never witnessed petrol scarcity that dragged like the one we are going through right now. The NNPC and other government officials who usually come out to speak on this matter should please keep quiet because they are obviously clueless right now.”  (Punch)

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Rumours Of Price Hikes, Union Strike Behind Fuel Crisis – FG |The Republican News

The Buhari administration has come out with an official report stating the causes of and actions being taken to address the ongoing fuel crisis that has disrupted much of the country for the last couple of days.

In a Fact Sheet released to media, the federal government pointed to the initial fuel shortages as being “caused by rumours of price increases, leading to hoarding and diversion by marketers, and panic buying by citizens.” It also lay the blame on the industry union, PENGASSAN, strike action, which exacerbated the crisis.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said in a statement that the challenge was “a reminder that we can do more and we are committed to doing more. I empathize with every Nigerian.”

The President, in a statement on December 24, had said that “relevant agencies will continue to provide updates on the situation…” And it now appears that indeed action is being taken on a number of fronts by the NNPC, following the Group MD’s briefings with the President on Saturday, December 23.

The administration highlighted the following interventions it has initiated:

  • Activating a so-called ‘Fuel War Room’ (FWR) to “coordinate all intervention activities for Supply & Distribution (S&D) of petrol nationwide.”
  • 24-hour loading operations at all NNPC depots and mega stations across the country; an order that also extends to all major oil marketers.
  • National Truck-out capacity increased to an average of 1,500 trucks per day, amounting to 52 million litres per day.
  • Sanctions on marketers hoarding or selling fuel above government-regulated price of N145/litre

NNPC has indicated that “13 vessels containing more than 650 million litres of products are currently discharging petrol, while additional vessels have been lined up to berth [for] early January 2018,” according to the administration’s Press Office.

It is, however, not clear if these measures have had any measurable impact on the situation on ground, or is enough to deter black market operators from exploiting the crisis, as has been the case for a number of days.  (The Sun)

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Buhari And His Government Of ‘Fugithieves’, By Jude Ndukwe |RN

The frequency of scandals bedeviling the Muhammadu Buhari administration in recent times would require an app to keep track of them. It certainly is beyond human capacity to do so.

While Nigerians were yet to grapple with the dirty details coming from the $25bn NNPC saga and the obvious crass lack of corporate governance that reigns there, the putrefying news came of Abdulrasheed Maina’s reabsorption and double promotion to the grade of a director after absconding from duty for four years and being on the wanted list of security agencies for alleged embezzlement of pension funds running into billions of naira.

Sadly, President Muhammadu Buhari was not only aware of the whole mess but also ignored warnings against such moves.

The question Nigerians are asking is how did a wanted man who absconded from duty and fled the country four years ago under the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan in a bid to evade our laws not only find his way back into the country but also got reabsorbed and rewarded with double promotion by the Buhari government?

The blame trade between the Buhari government officials over who was responsible only further exposes the fact that this administration is peopled by “fugithieves” who are willing, eager, ready and able to conspire with criminals to dupe us of our scarce commonwealth, subvert our laws and ridicule our system while blaming others for their self-inflicted woes and audacious criminal activities.

The revelation by Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Eyo-Itta, that she warned the president about the implications of recalling and reabsorbing Maina into the civil service but that the president paid no attention, confirms to the whole world what many doubters have always known about Buhari: a pretender in the avowed fight against corruption!

This also confirms what Maina’s family said earlier on that it was the presidency that actually invited Maina to come help them in their “Change Agenda”. It is only a government of fugitives that would surreptitiously invite a fugitive to come help them achieve their pre-election campaign promises.

What this means is that APC’s pre-election anti-corruption campaign promises that were flaunted and announced at every given opportunity with pomp and circumstance were conceived in deceit, packaged in sophistry, sold in fallacy and delivered in treachery!

To add salt to the injuries their deceitful acts have caused Nigerians, they deliberately allowed the man to escape a second time after he was exposed by the media and the rage of Nigerians that followed, only for the EFCC to embark on a charade of sealing the fugitive’s properties shortly after they made way for him to go underground. The evil machinations and cover-ups of these set of “executhieves” will leave even the devil speechless!

Before his recent sack necessitated by the Maina saga, Babachir Lawal, the immediate past Secretary to the Government of the Federation had asked, “which presidency?” in response to a question by journalists on reports of sanctions against him following his “grass-cutting” scandal. That rhetoric simply implied that no one in the presidency could sanction him since, it was assumed, they were all working in cahoots to defraud the IDPs. Although he has just been sacked, he is yet to be arrested by any of the relevant agencies and may remain free until Nigerians embark on another round of outrage.

Let us not forget that the Senate had investigated him and declared that he had a case to answer. But as usual, the presidency covered up for him until they cracked under pressure from both the senate and the generality of Nigerians as they were forced to set up an investigative panel headed by another “fugithief”, the minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, who is known in almost all quarters to have had a knack for using his exalted office to clear criminal friends and associates of the presidency but persecute with hateful venom innocent opposition voices.

That panel, as expected, cleared Babachir Lawal, claiming he had done nothing wrong. Buhari subsequently gave the clearance a presidential seal and also put same in writing to the senate. But outrage from Nigerians greeted the clearance which led to the formation of another committee whose report obviously found Lawal guilty and the president was subsequently forced to suspend and sack him long after.

But for the insistence of Nigerians, one of Buhari’s “fugithieves”, the minister of Justice, would have used, yet, his office to clear a “co-fugithief” in government.

Such clearance of Buhari’s criminal friends in government is true to type.

Buhari once said that the late General Sani Abacha never looted the nation’s treasury, yet, the Buhari administration is not only aggressively pursuing the return of Abacha’s loots in foreign lands but is also actually receiving same from Switzerland and other places. It takes a “fugithief” to clear a “fugithief”!

So, rather than the EFCC or other relevant security agencies arrest and prosecute Lawal, he insults our sensibilities by frolicking around as if he is a candidate for canonization because he enjoys the president’s protection.

When the president ordered the probe of arms procurement in the military from 2007 to 2015, reports had it that Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, current minister of interior, was among the former officers indicted in the probe. But in order to protect one of their own, the presidency quickly reduced the period of the probe report to 2010 – 2015, as Dambazau, one of the nation’s chief “fugithieves” was chief of army staff between 2008 – 2010.

Another “fugithief” in the Buhari presidency is Ibrahim Magu, the Acting Chairman of EFCC. Recall that the DSS had written a damning detailed report with incontrovertible evidence incriminating him in several shady deals on whose strength the senate refused to confirm him. But as usual, Magu is still at his job because he enjoys the protection of Mr President. Today, the EFCC is accusing the cabal in the presidency of trying to buy properties in foreign lands in Magu’s name in order to implicate him.

The DSS, the EFCC, Magu, and “the cabal” all belong to the same presidency. That is how inchoate, incoherent, rudderless and dirty this presidency is!

However, the same presidency has turned around to point accusing fingers at the PDP in all of this mess as if the ministers of justice, and interior are PDP members; or, as if the police, the immigration and similar security agencies are under the control of PDP; or, as if Babachir Lawal has not been a long time ally of Buhari; or, as if Ibrahim Magu is not an appointee of the current president.

No matter how much Buahri and his co-travellers of “fugithieves” try to cover their tracks, they have been exposed for who they really are: hypocrites who “are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean”.

Surely, this Buhari presidency stinks. Sadly, for Nigerians, it is not yet uhuru! (Daily Biafra)

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SHOCKING: Unremitted N4.8trn: Senate Report Indicts, NNPC, FIRS, Customs, Others |RN

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The Nigerian Senate

…Claims revenue-generating agencies under-remitted N1.7trn in 4yrs 

..NNPC operated N3.1trn deficit

From Fred Itua, Abuja

Shocking revelations emerged at the Senate, yesterday, that almost all  various federal revenue-generating agencies have short-changed the Federal Government to the tune of N1.7 trillion, through under-remittance of revenues generated between 2012 and 2016. It was also discovered that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC), ran at a deficit of N3.1 trillion during the period under review. The N1,695,585,887, 406 reportedly lost by the federal government during the stated period was from N21.5 trillion generated by 93 agencies covered in the Senate investigation.  These facts are contained in the report of an  Ad-hoc Committee on Alleged Mis-use, Under-Remittance, and other Fraudulent Activities  in Collection, Accounting, Remittance and Expenditure of Internally Generated Revenue by Revenue Generating Agencies, set up by Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in November 2016. In the 32 – page report laid before the Senate, last week, a copy of which was sighted by Daily Sun, yesterday, 25, out of the 93 revenue-generating agencies covered, were alleged to have defrauded the federal government of N1.7 trillion. Specifically, the report stated that during the period under review, the Nigerian Customs Service, which generated N335.855 billion,  failed to remit N83.963 billion as 25 per cent of the amount generated, in accordance with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007. Similarly, the the committee discovered that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) generated N455.5 billion but had under-remittance of N33.83 billion. Also included is the Nigerian Ports Authority which recorded under-remittance of N86.636 billion into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), despite generating N789.104 billion. Others are the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), N13.716 under-remittance, out of N3.098 trillion generated, NIMASA, with N184.489 billion under-remittance, out of N301.160 billion generated, Nigerian Television Authority, N5.567 billion under-remittance out of N56.817 billion generated, among others. For NNPC, the committee report stated that while the nation’s cash cow during the period under review generated N15.541 trillion, its entire expenditure during the period was N18.657 trillion, exceeding the corporation’s revenue profile by N3.115 trillion. The committee also observed that revenue-generating agencies chose to comply with a directive, via a memo dated November 11, 2011, with Ref. No. BO/RVE/12235/259/VII/201 by former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala to remit only 25 per cent from the revenue generated and use the remaining 75 per cent as part of its expenditure which is a clear violation of section 1200 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, and also a violation of the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Establishment Acts of some of these institutions. The report showed that most of the revenue-generating agencies denied the Auditor General of the Federation access to their financial books and records, which, in itself, is in conflict with section 125, subsection (3) a (i and ii) of the constitution. Consequently, the committee recommended as follows: “That the Senate should amend the laws, where necessary, to make it mandatory for all revenue-generating agencies to accommodate resident auditors, to be posted by the Auditor General of the Federation, who will have access to all financial records and books, and ensure compliance with section 120 (i) of the constitution. “That the Fiscal Responsibility Act should be amended in a way to compel all agencies and institutions of government on compliance with financial regulations regarding income generation, accounting and remittances. “That the Senate should also amend the laws, where necessary, to make it mandatory for all revenue-generating agencies to accommodate resident Treasury Officers, to be posted by the Accountant General of The Federation, who will have access to all financial records and books. “That  the National Assembly should direct the immediate stoppage of the implementation of the contents of Okonjo-Iweala’s memo and that agencies and institutions should adopt the new mode of remittances, as approved by the Senate. “That the Fiscal ResponsibiliTy AcT (2007) should further be amended to make all revenue-generating Agencies to pay 30 percent of their income generated monthly to the Consolidated Revenue Account before any expenditure, etc.”  (The Sun)

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$25B NNPC Contract: Sule Lamido Slams Muhammadu Buhari |The Republican News

Sule-lamido

Former Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido

…Says. ‘PDP must restore Nigerias’ lost glory by 2019

From: Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse

A former Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido, has criticised ‎the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government for “illegally” spending $25 billion that was not legally appropriated by the National assembly.

Lamido stated that the alleged $25 billion was never captured in the 2017 budget and yet was spent by an agency of government that claim to be upright.

The former governor who was speaking, on Monday, while receiving a former Ogun State governor, Chief Gbenga Daniel, who was on a campaign visit for Peoples Democratic Party Chairmanship (PDP) position to Lamido’s home town, Bamaina.

Lamido said the continued unity of Nigeirans depends largely on PDP that must take over power by 2019.

Lamido, who also blasted the All Progressives Congress (APC) party for mocking Nigerians, stated that, “it is only in this country that a government that is supposed to be for all would be mocking other Nigerians for criticising it”, he said.

“When you complain they will call you wailing wailers, government don’t mock it’s citizens no matter what, rather it should encourage you by at least explaining things to the people”, he said.

Lamido said President Buhari’s should forever be grateful to the PDP as he remains the greatest beneficiary of our misrule “, he stated.

He also called the APC party as an amalgamation of tyrannical, jealous and evil people that PDP most chase out of Nigeria come 2019.

He Said, “Nigerians most unite to revolt against slavery, hunger and starvation come 2019 and no amount of threat, intimidation, incarceration will silent me from speaking about the wrong doings of the APC Government.

Early in his remarks, Gbenga Daniel the aspirant of National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Said he came to Jigawa state to woo prospective delegates to support him in actualising his aspiration as the national chairman of the PDP.‎  (The Sun)

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BREAKING NEWS: Agbakoba Sues Buhari For Being Petroleum Minister |The Republican News

Olisa-Agbakoba-buhari

President Buhari, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN)

By Uche Usim,  Abuja 

Foremost Maritime lawyer and former President, Nigerian Bar Association, Olisa Agbakoba has filed a claim at the Federal High Court, Abuja against the Federal Government of Nigeria via the Attorney General of the Federation, to determine the constitutional qualification of the President of Nigeria to also hold executive office as Minister of Petroleum Resources.

Agbakoba, according to a statement released by his Chambers, argues that on the basis of section 138 of the Constitution disqualifying the President of Nigeria from taking any paid employment or holding the executive office of Minister of Petroleum Resources, the President cannot hold office as Minister of Petroleum Resources.

His other argument is that in any event, the President’s appointment as Minister of Petroleum Resources was not confirmed by the Senate of the National Assembly, as stipulated by section 147(2)of the constitution.

The affidavit supporting Agbakoba’s claim states the determination of the questions in the claim is of vital national importance, in view of the governance chaos at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

He has requested the court to return answers that the President is not validly qualified to be Minister of Petroleum Resources and in any event, the President is also disqualified to be Minister of Petroleum Resources, not having been confirmed by Senate.

No date has been fixed for the hearing.  (The Sun)

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I Did Not Approve NNPC Contracts But Loans, Says Osinbajo |Th Republican News

yemiosinbajo

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo

• Kachikwu: Issues raised in memo were not on fraud but governance

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo Thursday broke his silence on the notion that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the financing loans for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) when the president was receiving treatment in the United Kingdom and had handed over power to him as acting president, stating that he (Osinbajo) indeed gave approval to the joint venture financing loans in accordance with laid down procedure, but he did not approve contracts.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, had in a memo to Buhari, accused the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, of awarding contracts to the tune of $25 billion and making senior executive appointments in the corporation without due process and recourse to the board of NNPC which Kachikwu chairs.
However, in its response to the memo, NNPC had said all contract awards had followed due process and were approved by Buhari.
In its response, which was sanctioned by the president, NNPC went further to list contracts and joint venture financing loans approved by Buhari and provided the dates of approval.
But the dates provided in the response by NNPC on when the so-called contracts/joint venture loans were approved raised a red flag when it was pointed out by online new medium Premium Times that they coincided with the absence of Buhari who was away in the UK on health grounds and had constitutionally handed over to his deputy, Osinbajo.
When the red flag was raised, NNPC spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, rushed to clarify that the said financing loans approved for Shell and Chevron under the joint venture contracts at $1billion and $780 million respectively, were approved by Osinbajo in his capacity as acting president.
However, Osinbajo’s office initially kept mum on the controversy until Thursday when the vice-president’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, stated that Osinbajo approved the loans “after due diligence” had been complied with and in accordance with laid down rules and regulations.
Akande, in a series of tweets on his Twitter, handle @Akandeoj, said the approval Osinbajo gave was necessary as a measure to address the huge backlog of unpaid cash calls in NNPC.
According to the tweets, the huge backlog of unpaid cash calls was inherited by the current administration and the approval was meant to stimulate the required investments in oil and gas sector.
“In response to media inquiries on NNPC joint venture financing, VP Osinbajo as Ag. President approved recommendations after due diligence and adherence to established procedure.
“Action was necessary to deal with a huge backlog of unpaid cash calls which the Buhari administration inherited and also incentivise much needed fresh investments in oil and gas sector,” Akande tweeted.
Also, yet another statement from Akande last night, added: “Our attention has been drawn to some misleading reports suggesting that the vice-president approved certain procurement contracts for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“This is totally false, as the approvals referred to were actually for financing arrangements in replacement of the traditional joint venture cash call obligations.
“In the statement of NNPC recently released in response to allegations made by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, reference was made to various financing arrangements with NNPC’s joint venture partners, which were approved by the presidency under the current administration.
“There were three such loan financing arrangements made for: (i) NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture Project; (ii) NNPC/Chevron Accelerated Upstream Production Project; (iii) NNPC/Shell/Total/Agip Joint Venture Accelerated Upstream Production Project.
“While the first was approved by the president in person, the second and third were approved by the vice-president as acting president.
“The NNPC Act, Cap. N. 123, Laws of the Federation, (updated to 2010), authorises the corporation to borrow such sums as it may require in the exercise of its functions.
“Subsection (2) goes further to specify the only precondition: ‘The Corporation shall not, without the approval of the President, borrow any sum of money whereby the amount in aggregate outstanding on any loan or loans at any time exceeds such amounts as is for the time being specified by the President.’
“Furthermore, subsection (4) provides that ‘Where any sum required aforesaid – a. is to be in a currency other than Naira; and b. is to be borrowed by the Corporation otherwise than temporarily, the Corporation shall not borrow the sum without the prior approval of the President’.
“These financings are purely commercial loans obtained by NNPC and its joint venture partners, mainly from local and foreign banks, to perform their exploration and production activities.
“Repayments are also made out of revenues from the crude oil produced directly by the funded project. Unfortunately, they are being confused with contracts for goods and services.
“The alternative financing arrangements became necessary as the inability of the government to meet its cash call obligations had stalled further investments in the petroleum sector and reduced the country’s production capacity.”
Also, while answering questions from reporters after the ground-breaking of the multi-billion naira Bonny-Bodo road project in Bonny, Rivers State Thursday, the vice-president went into the semantics of the loans he approved by differentiating them from contracts, when he explained that the approvals he granted to the NNPC while he was acting president were for financing arrangements for the joint ventures between the corporation and international oil companies (IOCs), and not approvals for contracts.
He said: “These were financing loans. Of course, you know what the joint ventures are, with the lOCs like Chevron that has to procure.
“In some cases, NNPC and their joint venture partners have to secure loans and they needed the authorization to secure those loans while the president was away.
“The law actually provides for those authorizations. 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.”
Meanwhile, Kachikwu, who started the entire storm that has snowballed into who between the president and his deputy actually approved the loans for NNPC, has stated that his memo to Buhari did not border on fraud but on governance and on the best ways to move the oil and gas sector forward in the country.
He also expressed deep confidence in the president as a thorough, clean and meticulous leader whose interest is to better a lot of Nigerians.
Kachikwu, who stated this in Owerri, the Imo State capital while speaking on the third day of Nigerian content workshop organised by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), decried the misrepresentation by some Nigerians on the issues raised in his memo, stressing that no one was accused of committing fraud in the NNPC contract awards.
“The conversation has been largely misunderstood to border on fraud. It was not on fraud, but on governance and suggested ways to go about it. I think a lot of people got it wrong.
“People dwell much on issues of sensationalism and leave the main substance. I think I and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr Maikanti Baru are working together as Mr President has directed that we move forward,” he said.
According to the minister, “Mr President has urged the two of us to find ways of working together to remove doubt and rift. Mr President is a decent man and what he wants to achieve in this country is to leave a legacy for posterity.
“He is a sincere leader, so nobody should accuse him of engaging in fraud.”
He commended the management of NCDMB headed by its executive secretary, Mr Simbi Wakote, for promoting and enforcing Nigerian content in the oil and gas sector.
“NCDMB is blessed in terms of the quality of personnel in that parastatal. They have done well in ensuring that things move well in his area. Simbi has made the institution stronger and I congratulate you and your folks,” he said.
Kachikwu, however, observed that not much local content had been engaged in offshore oil and gas operations and enjoined the NCDMB to move in that direction.
He announced that by next year, the facilities in Port Harcourt and Kaduna would be available to train unskilled Nigerians to acquire skills in the oil and gas sector, adding that the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) and the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) would be responsible for the programme. (Thisday)

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