Buhari Denies Alleged Probe Of Kachikwu Over Crude Swap, LPG Contract | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Buhari Denies Alleged Probe Of Kachikwu Over Crude Swap, LPG Contract

Niger Delta, Buhari, Defence, Osun
Posted: Jul 20, 2016 at 6:15 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

…Decries Blackmail Of Govt Officials


Charles Okonji, Innocent Oweh

ABUJA – President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday denied ordering any probe against the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, who was the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), describing the report on the alleged probe as an orchestrated propaganda to tarnish the image of some of his appointees in government.

Information gathered indicated that the presidency had ordered the new Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, to probe into the current lists of crude oil takers, swap deals as well as liquefied natural gas lifting lists, which were put in place by Kachikwu.

The alleged probe, it was gathered, was triggered by complaints from stakeholders in the oil and gas industry, who felt dissatisfied with the allocations of crude oil, gas as well as the swap deal, which involved some companies that the Federal Government initially discredited when it came to power in 2015.

The presidency, it was learnt, directed Baru to look into the allegations in the swap deals, which involved CEPSA Refinery, IOC Refinery, ENOC and Sara Refinery labeled as major current receivers of the Nigerian crude.

The new NNPC boss, according to a report gathered, was also asked to investigate the list of 20/206 crude oil takers, which Kachikwu approved, particularly Master Energy, Taleveras, Mercuria, Vitol and Trafigura.

The international oil companies (IOC) trading affiliates listed as major players would also come under scrutiny. The companies are Exxon Trading, Total Trading, Eni Trading and Shell Trading, while the Nigerian downstream included Oando, Sahara Energy and MRS.

Others are Forte Oil, A.A Rano Ltd, Northwest Petroleum, Eternal Oil, and Emo Oil/China Zhenhea may also be investigated by the government.

Information gathered disclosed that the search would beam on the alleged indiscriminate allocation of gas by Kachikwu, while he served as the boss of the nation’s oil company.

But Buhari, while reacting to the alleged probe order, said it would be foolhardy for anyone to level frivolous allegations on his officials, especially his cabinet members without sufficient facts.

The president, who reacted through his media aide, Femi Adesina, on Tuesday, appealed for decent and civilised comments, particularly when it had to do with the integrity of those who are serving the country.

While assuring that he would not shield any of his appointees indicted in corrupt practices, Buhari said: “I want to appeal to discerning Nigerians to ignore orchestrated attempts to sully the integrity of ministers and other senior government officials, who are being tarred with the brush of corruption without any concrete evidence.

“Terrible and unfounded comments about other people’s integrity are not good. We are not going to spare anybody who soils his hands, but people should please wait till such individuals are indicted,” he stated.

The president reiterated that his administration was committed to probity, accountability and integrity, adding that transparency remains a watchword, which would never be trifled with.