Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday said that he only approved two loans for the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and not contracts.
Osinbajo’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande had earlier said that the Vice President approved contracts for NNPC.
Akande said the contracts were approved after due diligence by the Vice President when he acted as President when President Muhammadu Buhari was away in the United Kingdom.
The VP’s aide said his principal approved the recommendations for the contracts as part of necessary actions to deal with the backlog of unpaid cash calls and incentivise investments.
Akande said Prof. Osinbajo made the clarification in view of media enquiries that followed NNPC’s claim that the contracts were indeed approved by Osinbajo.
Akande had tweeted: “In response to media inquiries on NNPC joint venture financing, VP Osinbajo, as Ag President approved recommendations after due diligence & adherence to established procedure.
“Action necessary to deal with huge backlog of unpaid cash calls which Buhari adm inherited and also to incentivise much needed fresh investments in the oil & gas sector,” Akande had tweeted.
But reacting to the statement on Thursday in Bonny Island where he flagged off the Bodo-Bonny Road, Rivers state, Osinbajo said he granted loans and not contracts.
His words: ” They were financing loans, joint venture loans, that have procured so in some cases NNPC ventures have to secure loans and they need the authorization to secure those loans.
“While the President was away, I granted authorization which is what the law provides.
“The law actually provides for that authorization, so I did grant all of those, in fact, there were two of them but those are presidential approvals but they are specifically for financing joint ventures and they are Loans not Contracts”, the Vice President added.