The Director-General, Bureau of Public procurement (BPP), Alhaji Maman Ahmadu has said that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) followed due process in procurement of the Ajaokuta, Kaduna, Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project contract.
Ahmadu made the clarification on Wednesday in Abuja when NNPC delegation led by the Group Managing Director, Malam Mele Kyari paid him a courtesy visit.
It will be recalled that a social media report had alleged that the NNPC inflated the AKK gas pipeline contract to the tune of 1.527 billion dollars.
However, in a swift reaction to this accusation, the national oil company in a statement on Tuesday denied the allegation.
The NNPC described the accusation as false, baseless and unfounded and stated that it was considering instituting legal actions against the purveyors of the false news.
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Dismissing the allegation, Ahmadu said, “the person who spoke to you that mentioned that NNPC followed due process was the officer who reviewed the whole process but after I read about it on the social media.
“I called on him to brief me on the relationship between the due process and what was carried on the social media.
“And he noticed a very big variation in what we did and that of the NNPC with what was on the social media.
“Then we went further to find out how they came about the information they disseminated, we saw that they picked the information somewhere else and used it in a manner that was meant to hurt what NNPC did.
“But, I think we are on top of the situation, we have our documents intact and it is available for scrutiny by anyone who is interested.
“The publication was not true from what I have already said, the publication is not reflective of what happened,” he insisted.
The D-G urged investors to jettison such irresponsibility exhibited in the report, adding that the government was committed to transparency in all its dealings.
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Ahmadu, who affirmed a good working relationship with the NNPC, further commended the corporation on the AKK project, adding that when completed, it would revolutionise the gas supply chain in the country.
He noted that the project expected to be extended to other African countries, would help to further launch the country into global oil market.
He urged the NNPC to ensure the revival of the oil pipelines to help reduce the number of trucks that plied the roads.
Responding, Kyari said that the NNPC would continue to ensure accountability as a public owned organisation.
He said it would continue to follow due process according to the procurement law in the country.
He said that the establishment of the BPP Act had encouraged the corporation to do more and complied with the extant laws.
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“We are happy to be here, you will hear a lot but know that we will continue to do our best to be accountable, transparent in all we do.
“We are partners with the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative; everything we do is open to public scrutiny,” he said.
Commenting on the state of oil pipelines, Kyari said that though there were still incidents of vandalism and criminality, efforts were still on to replace aged ones.
He said that the corporation was targeting two to three years to ensure replacement of some of the pipelines to enhance products supply.
On the AKK gas pipeline, he said that it was unfortunate that people would always want to spread false news to bring down government’s efforts.
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He noted that the allegation on the project was malicious and pedestrian, adding that public scrutiny was good for business but should not to be malicious.
“People should be responsible when subjecting government offices to scrutiny,” he said.
By Peace Obi with Agency Report