*NNPC Act says I should report to Mr President
By Olajide Fashikun
Apologists on the flank of the divide on the side of the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, have explained the legal lacuna in the management of the corporation saying their man has not done anything wrong.
Our surce who is a lawyer by training but pleaded to remain anonymous told www.gongnews.net that “the Act establishing the NNPC stipulates that the chairman of the corporation’s board is the Minister of Petroleum Resources and not the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.”
“By eduction, President Muhammadu Buhari is Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources while Ibe Kachikwu is the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
“Baru did no wrong by reporting directly to Mr President. He was only obeying the NNPC Act. The NNPC Act does not recognise the office of the minister of state. The act is explicit that the petroleum minister is the chairman of the NNPC board.”
When President Buhari tried to intervene in the matter, these were some of the issues raised to him. The NNPC GMD reports to the corporation board chairman, who of course, is the President. He (Baru) goes to the chairman because that is what the Act says.”
These are no new contracts: According to our source, “all the allegations that Baru did not follow laid down rules in awarding contracts are not true. Some of the contracts were awarded some four to five years ago by the Federal Executive Council.
The source added with evidences, “there is a lower tender’s board at the NNPC and there is another which is higher and is referred to as the NNPC Tenders Board. The Bureau of Public Procurement is aware of this. The NTB handles or awards contracts of up to $20million.
“Anything beyond that goes to the Federal Executive Council. This is what has been happening at the corporation in the last three to four years.
“For instance, the AKK pipeline contract, valued at about $3billion has been there for the past five years. Baru did not award it, as well as some others listed in the allegations, rather he inherited it.
“That the NNPC has not come out to make any official comment does not mean that it does not know what to say. Some of these contracts were awarded years back. The corporation will come out to say something, but for now, silence is a strategy in the brewing war.”