NNPC denies minister’s allegation of poor transparency

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LAGOS, OCTOBER 9, 2017 – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Monday said allegations by the oil minister that the conduct of its group managing director lacked transparency were baseless.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been dogged by allegations of mismanagement for decades. The OPEC member country, Africa’s biggest economy, relies on oil for around two thirds of government revenue.

Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, in a letter to the president dated Aug. 30 and confirmed by the oil ministry, said Maikanti Baru had bypassed the board on key decisions, including the allocation of contracts, and did not follow due process.

The minister also said Baru’s recent appointments should be suspended pending a review. Nigerian lawmakers last week passed a motion to investigate the allegations.

“The allegations were baseless and due process has been followed in the various activities,” NNPC said in an emailed statement.

“It is 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,” the state oil company said.

NNPC, on its Twitter feed, said: “Following publication of alleged lack of due process in the award of contracts, Pres. @MBuhari ordered GMD @NNPCgroup @DrMKBaru to respond.”

Kachikwu met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday after the letter was leaked last week. It was the first time they had held private talks since Buhari returned to Nigeria on Aug. 19 from three months of medical leave in Britain.

Kachikwu is the minister of state for petroleum. Buhari kept the portfolio of petroleum minister for himself.

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