Presidency denies $25bn fraud in NNPC

Presidency denies $25bn fraud in NNPC

·         Charly Boy’s group plans protest against corruption in Buhari’s Govt

The Presidency has declared that all sto­ries about a supposed missing $25 billion or fraud­ulent contracts of such sum at the Nigerian Nation­al Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are all fiction.

It added that claims on both the social and tradition­al media about the bogus oil contracts or missing funds were far from the truth.

The Senior Special Assis­tant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Mr. Lao­lu Akande, said that no con­tracts were procured by the NNPC based on the leaked memo of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, although such impressions had been ma­liciously created in the past few weeks.

While responding to me­dia inquiries on Sunday night on the matter, Akande dis­closed that a closer look at each of the said projects indi­cate clearly that the projects being bandied about were not procurement contracts.

Akande’s defence came as a coalition, OURMUMU DONDO, acting under #Buh­ariActOrQuit, has asked Pres­ident Muhammadu Buhari to fight corruption among his top officials or resign.

The coalition, led by ace musician, Charles Oputa, also known as Charly Boy, said that from tomorrow, it will begin a sit-in to force Buha­ri to tackle corruption in his administration.

But Akande said that “when I tweeted on Thursday morning last week, I had indi­cated that the Vice President, while acting as President, ap­proved the Joint Venture Fi­nancing arrangements.

“But for some curious reasons, a few media reports used that tweet to report that I said the then Acting President approved N640 billion worth of oil contracts. Such report­ing is both false and mislead­ing and therefore ought to be completely ignored by all seekers of truth.

“What is more impor­tant,” Akande submitted, is that “when you look diligent­ly at the referenced projects/transactions one by one, you will see, as NNPC has shown, that none of them was actu­ally a procurement contract.

“Take both the Crude Term Contract and the Di­rect Sale, Direct Purchase (DSDP) agreements for in­stance, these are not procure­ment contracts involving the expenditure of public funds. Both transactions are sim­ply a shortlisting process, in which prospective off-takers of crude oil and suppliers of petroleum are selected under agreed terms, and in accord­ance with due process.

“It is therefore wrong and misleading to refer to them as though they’re con­tracts involving the expend­iture of NNPC funds, or pub­lic funds of any sort. As you now know, the Minister of Petroleum Resources him­self has in fact clarified that he meant to focus on admin­istrative and governance is­sues, not red-flag any fraud – because no fraud exists in this matter”.

For both transactions, Akande said that it was not true and also inaccurate to attach $10 billion and $5 bil­lion values on them, adding that “attaching monetary val­ues to these contracts is an arbitrary act that completely distorts understanding of the situation.”

According to him, Nige­rians ought to be informed clearly that “whenever there is a monetary value on any consignment of crude oil lift­ed in this country by any firm, the proceeds go directly to the Federation Account and not to any company. In fact, the Buhari administration in the implementation of the TSA has closed down multi­ple NNPC accounts in order to promote transparency and probity.”

Akande also explained that even in compiling the shortlisting for the prospec­tive off-takers of crude oil and suppliers of petroleum un­der agreed terms, “there were public placements of advert in the mass media seeking Expressions of Interest (EoI). Bids were publicly opened in the presence of NEITI, DPR, BPP, civil society groups and the press. In some cases even, these events were televised live.”

He also disclosed that the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline Contract “is a contractor-financed deal which has not yet been final­ised or awarded; it is still mak­ing its way to the Federal Ex­ecutive Council, FEC.”

 

in the $3 billion to $4 billion range as reported in the me­dia.

Charly Boy’s group plans protest

But the Charly Boy group stated that over the last 29 months, several allegations of corruption, mismanagement of public funds and outright looting of the national treas­ury had been levelled against top officials of the Buhari ad­ministration.

The group’s position was contained in a statement joint­ly signed by Charles Oputa for OurMumuDonDo Movement; Mr. Deji Adeyanju on behalf of Concerned Nigerians; Ariyo Dare Atoye for the Coalition in Defence of Nigerian De­mocracy; Mr. Bako Abdul Us­man for Campaign for Democ­racy; Mr. Ariyo Atoye for the Coalition in Defence of Nige­rian Democracy and Constitu­tion, and Moses Paul for MAD Connect.

They noted that recently, a letter written by Kachikwu to Buhari showed that the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, entered into contracts worth $26 billion without following due process and in contravention of the pro­visions of the NNPC Act, Pub­lic Procurement Act and other regulations governing the pro­cess for committing the Federal Government on contracts.

They said that prior to the monumental allegations of corruption in Kachikwu’s let­ter, other allegations of cor­ruption and outright looting of the treasury were made against other top officials of the Buhari administration.

According to them, these include the $43 million found in the Osborne Apartments al­legedly stolen and hidden by the suspended Director of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr. Ayo Oke.

The groups also cited the mismanagement and theft of N270 million meant for the welfare of people displaced by the ongoing war against Boko Haram in the North Eastern part of the country by the sus­pended Secretary-General of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Ba­bachir Lawal.

Others are bribery of N120 billion against the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibra­him Idris, by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Navy, Senator Isah Missau and alleged corruption by the Ekiti State House of Assembly against the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to the tune of N40 billion.

Charly Oputa said: “In the light of these disturbing devel­opments and the insouciance of the Federal Government in fighting them, we shall com­mence a daily sit-out at the Unity Fountain, Abuja, from Tuesday, October 17, 2017 to highlight these allegations of corruption against these and other top officials of the Buha­ri administration and strongly demand that President Buha­ri takes action against them in line with his anti-corruption campaign. The sit-out will commence from 09:00am and will hold daily until the Presi­dent moves decisively to tack­le these issues.”

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