The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said that a dinner with members of the Senate and House of Representatives scheduled to hold on Tuesday evening was part of its routine stakeholders engagement.
The explanation came amidst public criticisms that the corporation might have scheduled the dinner to influence the lawmakers who were investigating allegations of $25 billion contracts said to have been awarded by the corporation without due process.
Daily Trust reports that Spokesman for the corporation Ndu Ughamadu explained that the engagement began since April and it was part of the Corporation’s routine stakeholders’ engagement.
“In April this year, NNPC Group had organised similar stakeholder dinner for publishers, editors and correspondents based in Abuja”, he said.
He said that the dinner for members of the National Assembly was earlier scheduled for April, but it was postponed because the lawmakers were on recess.
He noted that the dinner was later rescheduled for May, but was postponed again when Baru lost a relation.
“The dinner was to hold in July this year; again, due to unavailability of the lawmakers as a result of Sallah break, it was called off.
He added that the Tuesday engagement was once again postponed because it coincided with a meeting the lawmakers were supposed to have with the president.
Asked the category of members the dinner was targeted at, Ughamadu said that it was for all the National Assembly core committees relevant to oil and gas industry
“Having been slated since April and postponed due to certain circumstances, the dinner could not have coincided with the National Assembly’s investigation of the Group Managing Director,” he said.