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Just in: Baru authenticates our story, says “Act does not mandate me”

The Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, on Monday afternoon, officially responded to the allegations of insubordination and corruption levelled against him by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, saying no law including the NNPC Act mandates him to report to a Minister of State.

Business Hilights had earlier today reported that the Act establishing NNPC does not recognize the status of ‘Minister of State for Petroleum Resources’ and this may have informed Baru’s alleged insubordinations after all.

According to him, the Act provides that GMD of NNPC shall report to the substantive minister of Petroleum which is currently occupied by the President himself.

Baru said in a detailed terse explanation issued by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja that “Following the publication of alleged lack of adherence to due process in the award of NNPC contracts, the President ordered the Group Managing Director and Management of the NNPC to consider and respond expeditiously to the allegations”.

NNPC argued that “The substance of the allegations made by Kachikwu in a letter to the President dated 30th of August 2017, was that a number of “major contracts were never reviewed or discussed with me (Kachikwu) and the NNPC Board.”

Continuing, it averred that “important to note from the outset that the law and the rules do not require a review or discussion with the Minister of State or the NNPC board on contractual matters”.

“What is required is the processing and approval of contracts by the NNPC Tenders Board, the President in his executive capacity or as Minister of Petroleum, or the Federal Executive Council, as the case may be. There are therefore situations where all that is required is the approval of the NNPC Tenders Board while, in other cases, based on the threshold, the award must be submitted for presidential approval. Likewise, in some instances, it is FEC approval that is required.”

However, to end the growing rivalry between Kachukwu and Baru, political pundits are calling on the President to relive himself of the duties of the Minister of petroleum so that Kachukwu can effectively know and perform as a substantive minister of the industry.