Reactions Trail NNPC Reply To Kachikwu’s Petition
There have been a lot of dissenting views over the reply of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC to the petition of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu.
The minister had accused Baru in his petition of insubordination and awarding contracts worth $25 million without recourse to the NNPC Board for approval.
However, on Monday the Group General Manager Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu for NNPC debunked the allegation, saying that the corporation actually passed through the normal procedure and regulations before awarding contracts.
NNPC also described as a lie, the cost of the contracts as alleged by Kachikwu, adding that the minister had concocted the figure.
It also noted that the corporation, according to rules could only seek approval of any contract from the Tenders Board of which President Muhammadu Buhari is the chairman.
It said that it does not need to seek approval from the board as expected by Kachikwu.
Reacting, the former President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) said that NNPC is wrong to have bypassed Kachikwu whose role as minister and Chairman of the board is to supervise the NNPC.
Agbakoba argued that Buhari, though himself a Minister of Petroleum Resources has delegated his power to Kachikwu, adding that Baru is expected to respect such position and corporate procedure by taking the minister of State along.
But to Jiti Ogunye, another learned fellow, the NNPC is right to have bypassed Kachikwu in the sense that the Public Procurement Act, approval for award of contracts in public parastatals could be done at two levels – the parastatal’s Tenders Board or the Federal Executive Council – depending on the volume of the contract.
He stated that what led to the controversy was that the constitution did not envisage that the president could also double as the Minister of Petroleum Resources.