Presidency, NNPC Improper Influence Taint OML 30 Contract

Presidency, NNPC Improper Influence Taint OML 30 Contract
June 03 11:29 2017 Print This Article

A major probe maybe under way at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) following the improper influence of top President Muhammad Buhari’s aide and top management of the NNPC in the award of a major oil servicing contract for OML 30 to a Qatari Sheik by NNPC subsidiary Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

The award of the contract is raising dusts in the oil and gas sector as some powerful and influential individuals who felt shortchanged in the “skewed process” leading to the award of the contract are mounting pressure on the Presidency to investigate the process leading to the award of the oil servicing contract.

Our correspondent’s investigations revealed that those agitating for the revoke and investigation of the contract award are claiming that “due process was thrown overboard” as the contract was said to have been “unilaterally handed over to the Qatari businessman on the instructions of a powerful top Buhari’s aide”.

A top industry sources, told our correspondent, that the top Buhari aide, who was approached by the Qatari prince summoned the Group Managing Director (GMD), NNPC Dr. Maikanti Baru late February and directed him to unilaterally hand over the job to the Arab businessman to the chagrin of other stakeholders who also bided for the job.

The powerful aide used improper influence to award the contract to the Qatari prince, according to multiple sources.

One of the sources said following the directive, Mr. Baru and some of his top managers were instructed to proceed to London “immediately” to arrange a meeting with the Qatari businessman “to give a semblance that due process was followed in the award of the contract”.

The London meeting according to our source was also attended by a top civil servant in the Presidency who represented the top Buhari aide at the “hurriedly put together meeting” where the deal was signed, sealed and delivered to the new contractor”.

One of the sources who said Baru owned his appointment as GMD to the top presidential aide however accused the NNPC boss of “bending the rules to satisfy his godfather” in the award of the controversial contract.

“What is happening in NNPC now is unfortunate,” the source said adding that “we were beginning to believe that sanity had returned to the oil and gas under this government but what happened during the past regime is back. It is going back to the era of business as usual. You can’t be fighting others with one hand in the name of cleaning up the system and be using the other hand to mess up the system,” the angry source said.

The source who spoke on the condition of anonymity added “it is unfortunate that today in the NNPC, people who are not even qualified to sell pure water are getting allocations of AGO and other petroleum products because they are children, stooges and boys of some powerful people in the government. It is sad and if nothing urgent is done to clean up the system, we may just kiss the anti-corruption war goodbye.”

Investigation shows that the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) is not new to controversial deals. The NPDC during the Goodluck Jonathan era entered an agreement with Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited Limited (AEDCNL)  shortchanging the country to the tune of $2 billion dollars.

The deal paved the way for Atlantic Energy to operate some oil blocks during the administration.

The NPDC and Atlantic Energy owe Nigerians a lot of explanations regarding how some oil blocks – OMLs 26, 30, 34, 42, 60, 61, 62 and 63 – were handled between 2011 and 2014, including outright theft of proceeds from all the millions of barrels of crude oil lifted during the four years.

Further investigations showed that the NPDC granted the SAA in absolute secrecy without following any due process as stipulated in the government procurement laws and policy.

 

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