Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has once again weighed in on the controversy over the approval of contracts in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The Vice President who had earlier said he gave approval to the NNPC to sign two loan deals, spoke about the issue at a forum which discussed ways of creating a better Nigeria in Lagos on Friday.
A letter sent by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, to President Muhammadu Buhari accusing the NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru, of insubordination and of ignoring the NNPC board in approving contracts, among other issues, had sparked the controversy.
The NNPC GMD had since defended his actions insisting he followed due process and that the President, who is also the Minister of Petroleum Resources, approved the contracts.
On Friday, the Vice President told participants in the forum that it is the Tenders Board of the NNPC that is meant to approve contracts and not the NNPC Board.
Professor Osinbajo said, “Is it the Board of NNPC or is it the Tenders Board of NNPC that approves contracts of a certain level? Is it the Board of NNPC or NNPC’s Tenders Board? Now, that inquiry was made in 2015 by way of a letter – and I am sure you’ve seen all of that. The answer that was given by the Bureau of Public Procurement is that the board referred to was the tenders’ board, not the Board of the NNPC.”
Concerning the probe of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal, and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Dr Ayodele Oke, Professor Osinbajo said a verdict is expected from President Muhammadu Buhari soon.
“As for the SGF and DG NIA issue that the President will decide. I am sure that very soon we will get a response on that,” he said.
The Vice President also called on a new tribe of Nigerians to move the country forward.
He said, “To build a new Nigeria, we need a new tribe. A tribe of men and women of all faiths, tribes, and ethnicities, hard work, justice and love of country. A tribe of men and women who are prepared to make the sacrifices and self-constraint that are crucial to insist on justice. A tribe consisting of professionals, religious leaders and all others who believe that this new Nigeria is possible.”