FG Considers Review of NNPC Appointments

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 • Senate probe on corporation to focus on preferential treatment for Duke Oil

By Omololu Ogunmade and Damilola Oyedele in Abuja    

The presidency is currently considering a review of the recent senior executive appointments of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) made by its Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, THISDAY has learnt.

The decision to consider a review of the appointments is predicated on the alleged breach of due process in the appointments and contract awards to the tune of $25 billion raised by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu against the NNPC boss in his letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on August 30.

It has also come to light that the Senate ad hoc committee charged with probing the award of the $25 billion contracts by Baru without recourse to the governing board of the corporation would also focus on the preferential treatment accorded to Duke Oil, a subsidiary of NNPC, in oil lifting contracts and oil swaps, despite the charge that it was incapable of fulfilling the contracts.

But whilst NNPC and the presidency have separately responded to the allegation of the $25 billion contract awards in breach of due process, both institutions have remained silent on the appointments of senior executive officers of the corporation, despite the plea by Kachikwu in his letter that the appointments be suspended.

In their defence of the contract awards, the presidency and the corporation had claimed that the contracts had passed through the NNPC Tenders Board and got No Objections from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), following which final approvals were granted by Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, in his capacity as acting president.

However, a top presidency official who confided in THISDAY, said the silence from the presidency on the appointments was not an endorsement on the action taken by Baru, adding that if after thorough examination the appointments were indeed found to be in breach of the extant laws or the federal character principle, they will duly be reviewed.

According to him, the president and his deputy are advocates and promoters of due process who would not hesitate to reverse themselves when cases of apparent breaches are established, instead of allowing their egos to get in the way and maintaining indifference to wrongful acts.

Buttressing the position, the presidential source said it is on record that the president had previously reversed himself on certain decisions when his attention was drawn to initial errors, adding that he would not fail to do so again.

Against this backdrop, he said the current situation would not be the exception, as the president will not hesitate to right the wrongs in the NNPC appointments even if they had his initial blessing.

“It is going to be reviewed. Extant laws would be checked to verify if NNPC did not comply with them. The appointments will be checked to see if they are not in line with federal character.

“Even if the president had approved them, if they are found not to be in accordance with the extant laws and federal character, this president and even the vice-president will review them and ensure that proper things are done. 

“You know that on one or two occasions, some decisions had been taken in error in the past and the president did not hesitate to reverse them. If the same thing is established in this situation, it will be reviewed,” he stated.

When queried on the absence of governance raised by Kachikwu in the award of contracts, the presidency source doubled down, saying that the allegation was a hoax and maintained that the contracts were not procurement contracts. 

Focusing solely on the joint financing loans approved by Osinbajo, he said what was important was the approval of the joint venture financing by the presidency and not necessarily the board, stating that it was the president that had put the board in place and its power could not have exceeded that of the president.

“This has been explained over and over that they were not procurement contracts. It was the president who put the board in place. That there is a board in place does not preclude the power of the president,” he stated.

Meanwhile, it has come to light that the Senate ad hoc committee charged with probing the award of contracts to the tune of $25 billion by Baru without recourse to the governing board of NNPC would also turn the spotlight on the preferential treatment accorded to Duke Oil in oil lifting contracts and oil swaps, despite charges that it was incapable of fulfilling the contracts.

Duke Oil is a wholly owned subsidiary of NNPC registered in Panama in 1989. It is engaged in direct oil trading activities in the spot market to achieve operating capability, downstream integration and additional profits from oil operations.

One of the allegations against the firm is that does not pay taxes in Nigeria.

It has also been named in several NNPC deals which are being investigated, including the oil swaps and unaccounted crude oil lifting worth $17 billion.

Baru again is being accused of giving preferential treatment to Duke Oil, as have successive heads of the oil corporation.

Despite the preferential treatment in contract awards, the company has been discovered to sublet several of its contracts since it cannot fulfill them.

The committee headed by Senator Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto APC), which was set up to probe the allegations thrown by Kachikwu in his letter, the financial situation of NNPC and the operations of Duke Oil, would focus on Duke Oil, said a source on the committee.

Specifically, the spotlight will be turned on how Duke Oil continues to do massive business in the oil sector without meeting the requisite qualifications for contract awards. 

Speaking with THISDAY yesterday, the source said the probe into Duke Oil would expose the corrupt practices in NNPC and the oil sector as a whole.

“The dealings in Duke Oil are known only to the management of the NNPC, not to the National Assembly, not to any other regulatory agency.

“The company makes billions, yet it does not pay tax here. We assumed that would changed when President Buhari came to power, but it has been business as usual,” the source said. 

Continuing he added: “As Senator Anyanwu (Samuel) pointed out when he moved this motion, Duke Oil is a money spinner for NNPC and by extension, which ever government is in power.

“It is the sole importer of diesel for NNPC retail and PPMC, but it executes the contracts through third parties.

“Remember that during the oil swap probe in the House of Representatives, the same Duke Oil through its MD, Mr. Abdulkadir Seidu admitted earning $36.3 million in commissions after it had sub-contracted its swap contract to three other companies. Yet it did not pay a dime in Nigeria as tax, despite its physical presence here.” 

The source said there are pertinent questions which the committee would address in the course of the investigation.

“Where did that commission and others go? If Duke Oil is a subsidiary of the NNPC, does that not translate that it is an agency of the Nigerian government?  Are we going to continue this way?

“Can the executive just have an agency where it takes money from without appropriation? Unravelling Duke Oil would go a long way in investigating the finances of the NNPC,” the source added. 

THISDAY had earlier reported that the Senate committee was under pressure from the presidency to give Baru a soft landing and clear him of the allegations levelled against him in Kachikwu’s letter. 

It was gathered that committee is mindful of the attention that Kachikwu’s letter has generated and the allegations that it is being lobbied to soft-pedal on the probe.

When asked what had become of the mandate to probe the contract awards raised by Kachikwu, he said: “That aspect of the probe will happen. The members are aware that the eyes of Nigerians are on them.”

  • vic

    PRESIDENT BUHARI AND BARU ARE ACTING HAND-IN -HAND.

    BARU IS DOING WHAT BUHARI HAS ASKED HIM TO DO.

    THESE TWO THIEVES AND HIGH LEVEL SCUMS ARE A TOTAL FRAUD.

    • Smt Jal

      I hope God gives Nigerians the patience to tolerate my administration – Buhari

      – President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that he hopes God will give Nigerians the patience to tolerate his administration

      – Buhari recounted how Nigeria made so much money from the sale of crude oil in the international market, before he came into office

      – However, the president reiterated that the price of oil crashed drastically when he assumed office, and there were no savings

      Muhammadu Buhari has expressed hope that Nigerians will receive patience from God, to be able to tolerate his administration. According to reports, the president made his comments at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, on Friday, October 6. He stated: “I have said it so many times; I don’t mind saying it now to you because some of you may not
      have even the time to listen to radio or watch television as regularly as other people do.

      “From 1999 to 2014, Nigeria has never realised so much resources since our independence, never, because the average production was 2.1 million barrel per day at an average cost of 100 dollars per barrel. “But when we came in, it crashed to 37 dollars per barrel, and we overlooked saving and there was no saving. “So really, we have just started working and we hope God in his infinite mercy would give Nigerians the patience to tolerate us.

      ” Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the executive secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Waziri Adio, disclosed that between 2005 and 2015, Nigeria spent more than what it saved from crude oil revenue.

      The Buhari appointee stated that the spending spree shows that the country made no saving during that period. Citing statistics, the NEITI boss revealed that between 2005 and 2015, $201.2billion entered into the excess crude account, while the country spent $204.7billion.

      Help me please, I am under administrative tension trying to compare and contrast……

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b5b04591a51b268b89db63243b6b6c660939f7ca20557b8ce55834889167e013.jpg

      • share Idea

        Did ask your MR INTEGRITY how come the cost of raw is dropping and the finished product price going up under his administration? He knew the price of crude before assuming office but developed amnesia about the price of fuel then and the current price – hypocrite

  • jellybelly

    Sometimes you simply cannot clean up a mess.
    NNPC cannot be reformed. It has to be shut down: float it on the NSE and police and regulate it into shape.

  • okpada

    When was it registered; and under which regime; have you ever had anything about the Duke oil before now?

  • Romla

    The dilly dallying by this government over very serious allegations by a top cabinet member,confirms my change of opinion.This is an unserious,deceitful,business as usual administration.A waste of people’s expectations.Nothing significant will be achieved by them.

    • forestgee

      Welcome to the real world – the world of truth.

      • Toby

        I’m loving this.

  • Ola

    Duke oil is a wholly owned subsidiary of NNPC, why was it registered in Panama??? Why not registered in Nigeria???

    Duke oil don’t pay taxes in Nigeria???

    Duke oil is the only company allowed to import diesels and petroleum products back into Nigeria???

    Duke oil is only known to the board of NNPC and not to the Senate nor the House of Representatives???

    Duke oil is definitely NOT a company but a conduit pipe to syphone foreign exchange into the pockets of corrupt officials – this is legitimising looting.

    Nigerians, is either you put these undesirable elements under immense pressure to shut down Duke oil or your mumu never do.

    • vic

      IT WAS REGISTERED IN PANAMA TO SIPHON OIL FUNDS AND TO SWINDLE OIL MONEY.

      HYPOCRITE BUHARI KNOWS IT ALL TOO WELL.

      BUHARI IS AN EXPERT OIL THIEF.

  • D-A-N-G-O-T-E-C-E-M-E-N-T

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  • Daniel Obior

    Baru was only discharging the wishes of Buhari on both the contracts and the appointments. That is why the president is protecting him. He would otherwise have been sacked. This again is the true face of the farce that has become Buhari’s fight against corruption. Insincere and selective fight.

    • Smt Jal

      Your hatred for Buhari will lead to your early death.
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/32f69fe40c155e5f6a35d4d5716fc7cb42909e50affac6849b8f344979f761c4.jpg

      The silence from the
      presidency on the appointments was not an endorsement on the action
      taken by Baru, adding that if after thorough examination the
      appointments were indeed found to be in breach of the extant laws or the
      federal character principle, they will duly be reviewed. Presidency said

      “Remember that during the
      oil swap probe in the House of Representatives, the same Duke Oil
      through its MD, Mr. Abdulkadir Seidu admitted earning $36.3 million in
      commissions after it had sub-contracted its swap contract to three other
      companies.
      (Since you mumu too much this happens during GEJ)
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b91d8f46105812dbe1fc80bbcd6cdc2a57dd63b77b7c7bd77b21d00232f40a0c.jpg

      Duke Oil is a wholly owned
      subsidiary of NNPC registered in Panama in 1989. It is engaged in direct
      oil trading activities in the spot market to achieve operating
      capability, downstream integration and additional profits from oil
      operations.
      You sabi this english so????????
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6a1b40469762c0a762ddc616ae856755a0ab46bfe263579b223de5e5a7d13b0a.jpg

      “According to Senator Anyanwu (Samuel) Duke Oil is a money spinner for
      NNPC and by extension, which ever government is in power.

      For now this is the person in power lets wait and see what will happen. APC is in Aso Rock for only 2yrs 5months compared to that of your stealing is not corruption party I mean PDP’s 16yrs.
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b342283cf4124a37683767c38f08542da6e32be8f3c7d89db09241deddb96a21.jpg

      • Toby

        Buhari dies before Daniel.

      • Daniel Obior

        I have said it before and I will repeat again, and again, and again. I do not hate Buhari. He is not worth my hatred. I dislike him because he is a despot, vindictive, parochial and nepotistic, corrupt, barely literate and has a medieval mentality. I challenge you to dispute these facts. As for death, it comes anytime it chooses. If it comes to me before Buhari, so be it. It may even come to you before me.