$25billion Contract: Kachikwu’s Allegations Are ‘Unfounded And Unfortunate’ – Baru
The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has described Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu’s alleged $25b contract as “unfounded” and “unfortunate”.
Baru said this while receiving the National President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Comrade Francis Johnson, PENGASSAN members and members of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).
He explained that 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.
The GMD said the NNPC Act and the Public Procurement Act vested procurement powers in the NNPC Tenders Board, the President and the Federal Executive Council (FEC), depending on the cost threshold.
He said the NNPC Board had no role whatsoever in the process.
Baru’s words: “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.”
The leaders of the unions were on a solidarity visit to Baru.
The unions’ visit came on the heels of the controversy sparked by Kachikwu’s letter to the President alleging non-adherence to due process by the Management of NNPC in some contract administration.
Baru said: “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 the NNPC Tenders Board was made up of the GMD as Chairman and the Group Executive Directors as members.
On the crude term contract and the DSDP agreements, he said: “These are not contract as such; they are essentially pre-qualification of off-takers of crude oil and in the case of DSDP, 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”.
On the allegation of lop-sided promotions, the GMD asked the union leaders if their members felt disenchanted to which the unionists chorused a resounding “no”.
He urged the union leaders to enlighten their members on the facts and encourage them to go about their duties without distraction.