- The GMD of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, reacted to allegations of corruption and insubordination, describing them as “unfounded and unfortunate”
- The NNPC boss repeated that the board chaired by the minister had no powers to approve contracts
- Baru however accused Kachikwu of making up contract figures to incite the public
The head of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, has again reacted to allegations of corruption and insubordination raised against him by the minister of state for petroleum, Ibeh Kachikwu.
In his second response in two days, Baru said he did no wrong and repeated his argument that the NNPC board chaired by Kachikwu had no powers to regulate or approve contracts awarded by the state oil company.
Baru spoke on Monday when major unions in the oil and gas sector, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG, paid the embattled group managing director a solidarity visit.
He accused Kachikwu of bandying “humongous” contract figures to incite the public, and described the allegations of award of contracts without regard to due process as “unfounded and unfortunate”.
Baru said as a former chairman of the NNPC Anti-Corruption Committee, he would be the last person to breach the procurement process by disregarding extant laws and rules.
He said both the NNPC Act and Public Procurement Act vested procurement powers on the NNPC Tenders Board, the president and the Federal Executive Council depending on the cost threshold, stressing that the NNPC board had no role whatsoever in the process.
”I know for those of you who are following what we are doing here, you know that there’s no money lost and no process has been breached,” he told the visiting union leaders according to a statement issued by Ndu Ughamadu, NNPC Group General Manager Group Public Affairs Division.
”Our contracting process is perfect and we will continue to follow the process. The NNPC Board has no role, I repeat, has no role as far as the contracting process is concerned,” Baru said.
He said the crude term contract and the DSDP agreements were not contract as such but pre-qualification of off-takers of crude oil.
”The case of DSDP, is of those that will take crude and give us products in return.
”So there is no value to them. But humongous figures have been put forward mainly to incite the public, it is most unfortunate,” Baru stated.
The statement said the unions pledged support for the “transformation stride” of Baru.
The statement said the PENGASSAN and the NUPENG and their members considered it appropriate to rally round Baru and the NNPC management to pledge their support.
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NAIJ.com previously reported that there were indications that the ongoing tension between Kachikwu and Baru, may have been caused by the actions of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Premium Times reports that a memo leaked last week of Kachikwu reporting to Buhari about Baru’s insufferable conducts, which ranged from unilateral award of contracts to insubordination.
It was gathered that in the August 30 memo which was leaked last Tuesday, October 3, Kachikwu said the contracts were up to $25 billion, or N9 trillion, and that they were allegedly awarded by Baru without recourse to the NNPC Board which he, Kachikwu, was appointed to head by Buhari.
STREET GIST: Name a Nigerian politician who is not corrupt - on NAIJ.com TV.