Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has explained that the approvals he granted the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) while he was Acting President were for financing arrangements for Joint Ventures between the corporation and International Oil Companies (IOCs) and not approvals for contracts.
He made this clarification on Thursday while addressing reporters after the ground-breaking ceremony for the multi-billion Naira historic Bonny-Bodo road project, in Bonny, Rivers State.
“These (the NNPC approvals) were financing loans. Of course, you know what the Joint Ventures are, with the lOCs, like Chevron, that had to procure.
“In some cases, NNPC and their Joint Venture partners have to secure loans and they need authorisation to secure those loans while the President was away.
“The law actually provides for those authorisations. 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,” he said.
Earlier, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, had tweeted on the same matter.
He wrote: “In response to media inquiries on the NNPC Joint Venture financing arrangements, VP Osinbajo, as Acting President, approved the recommendations after due diligence and adherence to established procedures.
“This was, of course, necessary to deal with the huge backlog of unpaid cash calls which the Buhari administration inherited, and to incentivize much needed fresh investments in the oil and gas sector.”