WE has received information indicating that Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, is a recipient of the $26 billion contract windfall in the Nigeria National Petroleum Commission [NNPC].
According to the source, companies linked to Abba Kyari were allegedly awarded $13 billion contracts by the NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru.
One such company, Brentex Petroleum Services, with Abba Kyari's name on the company listing as owner, was awarded of $10 billion.
It was also discovered that some other beneficiary companies were linked to Mamman Daura, the “powerful nephew” of the president who controls the presidency.
Recall that in a leaked memo from Nigeria's Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu had revealed irregularities in the state-owned oil giant.
Kachikwu had alleged that US$26 billion contract was awarded without board and Federal Executive Council [FEC] approval.
He wrote to President Buhari to report on questionable practices by Dr Baru, including accusations of insubordination.
"I have been unable to secure an appointment to see you despite very many attempts," Kachikwu wrote to Buhari, who is oil minister as well as president.
The letter appeared to point to Kachikwu's deepening frustration.
The letter states, among other things:
“The legal and procedural requirements are that all contracts above $20m would need to be reviewed and approved by the Board of NNPC.
“Mr. President over one year of Dr. Baru’s tenure, no contract has been run through the Board.
“This is despite my diplomatic encouragement to Dr. Baru to do so to avoid wrongfully painting you as a President who does not allow Due Process to thrive NNPC.
“Given the history of malpractices and the public perception of NNPC as having a history of non-transparency, the NNPC Tenders Board (NTB) cannot be the final clearance authority for contracts it enters into.
“The NTB which is a collection of top level NNPC executives and COOs, with the GMD as Chairman, cannot continue to be the final approval authority for multi-million dollar contracts and transactions involving NNPC to the exclusion of the Board.
“Board members have singularly and collectively raised these issues to no avail.
“The following major contracts were never reviewed by or discussed with me Board of NNPC:
1. The Crude Term contracts- value at over $10bn
2. The DSDP contracts- value over $5bn
3. The AKK pipeline contract- value approximately $3bn
4. Various financing allocation funding contracts with the NOCs – value over $3bn
5. Various NPDC production service contracts – value at over $3bn--$4bn
“There are many more Your Excellency, in most of these activities, the explanation of the GMD is that you are the Minister of Petroleum and your approvals were obtained.
“However, the correct governance should be that the Minister of the State and the Board review the transaction and give their concurrence prior to presentation to you.
“As I many cases of things that happen in NNPC these days. I learn of transactions only through publications in the media.
“The question is why is it that the Parastatals which I supervise as Minister of State or Chair of their Board are able to go through these contractual and mandatory governances processed and yet NNPC is exempt from these?”
So far, no visible action has been taken after Buhari finally granted Kachikwu audience on Friday, October 6, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
NNPC's chairperson, Baru, whose governance of the oil giant is clearly in the memo's firing line, remains in office.
Awarding contract without due process in Nigeria parlance is a euphemism for saying that the money was embezzled via fictitious contract awards
Having looked into the presidency of Buhari, it seems that the BaruGATE heist is a tip of the iceberg.
This government allowed many agencies to run without boards for over two years and one can imagine what took place inside the belly of those institutions.
President Buhari has severally been accused of selective justice and intentional neglect of corruption allegations by his officials, one of such being the “grass-cutter” allegation against the former Secretary to the Federal Government [SGF], David Babachir Lawal.
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