By Patience Danjuma
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has explained that the approvals he granted to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as Acting President were for financing arrangements for the Joint Venture between the corporation and International Oil Companies (IOCs) and not for any kind of dollar or naira-denominated contracts.
The Vice President made the clarification when approached by journalists after the groundbreaking ceremony of the multi-billion naira Bonny-Bodo Road Project in Bonny, Rivers State.
“They were financing loans. Of course, you know what the Joint Ventures with the lOCs like Chevron are. In some cases, NNPC and their Joint Venture partners have to secure loans and they need authorization to secure those loans.
“While the President was away, the law actually provides for those authorizations. So, I did grant two of them and those were presidential approvals, but they are specifically for financing joint ventures and they are loans, not contracts,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, the Vice President’s spokesperson, Laolu Akande, had tweeted: “In response to media inquiries on the NNPC Joint Venture financing arrangements, VP Osinbajo, as Acting President, approved the recommendations after due diligence and adherence to established procedures.”
This, he said was necessary to deal with the huge backlog of unpaid cash calls which the current administration inherited and to incentivize fresh investments in the oil and gas sector.
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