Our contracting process is perfect… We will continue to follow it – Baru

Maikanti Baru, group managing director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), says the contracting process of the group is perfect and that they would continue to follow it.

Speaking on Monday when he received leaders of some unions at the NNPC headquarters in Abuja, Baru said as a former chairman of the NNPC anti-corruption committee, he would be the last person to disregard extant laws and rules. He went on to describe the allegations that he awarded contracts without due process as unfounded and unfortunate.

Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum, had accused Baru of awarding contracts worth $25 billion regardless of the process.

But responding, Baru said humongous figures were put out to incite the public. He dismissed Kachikwu’s position that the NNPC board ought to be consulted before contracts were awarded.

The GMD said both the NNPC Act and Public Procurement Act vested procurement powers on the NNPC tenders board, the president and the federal executive council (FEC) depending on the cost threshold.

“I know for those of you who are following what we are doing here, you know that there’s no money lost and no process has been breached,” he said.

“Our contracting process is perfect and we will continue to follow the process. The corporation board has no role, I repeat, has no role as far as the contracting process is concerned.”

He said the crude term contract and the direct sale and direct purchase (DSDP) agreements were “not contracts as such” but pre-qualification of off-takers of crude oil.

Kachikwu had said Baru placed $15 billion on DSDP.

“The case of DSDP is of those that will take crude and give us products in return,” he said.

“So there is no value to them. But humongous figures have been put forward mainly to incite the public, it is most unfortunate.”

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Ayo Olowo is a writer, a web developer, an online marketer. My interest is in sports and international affairs.

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