Nigeria’s former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke has denied reports that she awarded $24 billion oil swap deal without contract. She stated that the accusations were aimed at tarnishing her image.
This is coming on the heels of the recent accusation that she had approved $24 billion for Renewal of the Crude Oil/Refined Products Exchange Agreement. The House of Representatives is also currently conducting an investigation into the said oil swaps.
The federal government was expected to make a profit of about $1.82 million per 60,000 barrel-per-day from 2009, when the deal was first made, but, however, recorded a loss of $1.47 million instead.
Mrs Alison-Madueke, who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer in London according to reports.
Alison-Madueke made the denial in a statement issued by her spokesperson, Clem Aguiyi, and made available to newsmen. The statement reads in part:
“In view of the criticality of the situation, the former minister immediately approved/ratified all three renewals. Expiration of those terms were put at 31st December 2014, following assurances to the former minister that the contractual obligations of the parties to NNPC had in fact been fully met, despite the regrettable lapse in renewal time.”
“On the 28th of October 2014, following the recommendation of the then GMD, NNPC, the minister approved OPAs for a new term of two years commencing from 1st January 2015.”
“The entities recommended by NNPC were Sahara Energy Resources Ltd, Aiteo Energy and Duke Oil. NNPC strongly recommended and outlined the benefits of the OPAs over the SWAPs and put forward the case for migration from the OPAs and crude exchange (swap) contracts to OPAs fully.”
“NNPC posited that the ‘experienced benefits of the OPAs to the federation’ would be much greater. All approvals were due process-driven and were only given by the former minister following formal statutory written requests, which contained the technical basis for the renewal and were sent to her by the GMD, NNPC, as is the normal practice.”
“NNPC had clearly requested for the approval of the former minister for renewal of the crude oil for refined products exchange agreement and renewal of the offshore processing agreements on all the various occasions outlined earlier in this press release.”
“Whereas, it was the former minister’s responsibility to either give or refuse approval, it was not within her purview as minister to draft, initiate or conclude the processes of signing the final contracts, as it is the statutory responsibility of NNPC to ensure that all technical areas are duly covered and all requisite due process parameters are duly implemented.”
“There would have been little need to respond to this particular issue at this time considering that the former minister is still indisposed and would have wished to be left alone to recuperate. She will speak for herself in due time. It is nevertheless imperative that records are set straight so that Nigerians and posterity will know the truth.”
“Mr. (Austin) Oniwon (former GMD, NNPC) was right when he stated that the 445,000 barrels of crude oil for domestic refining is the property of NNPC, bought from the Federal Government of Nigeria at the prevailing rate and therefore as GMD, he did not need the Federal Executive Council’s or presidential approval to enter into swap arrangements that will enable NNPC fulfill its statutory obligations.”
“It was also correct that contrary to the picture being painted in the media not more than 210,000 bpd out of the 445,000 bpd lifted by NNPC to ensure adequate supply and distribution of petroleum products was traded under the following swap arrangement: OPS – SIR – 60,000bpd; Swap – Trafigura – 60,000bpd; and swap – Duke Oil – 90,000bpd.”
“What the GMD was required to execute of the above was the statutory approval from the minister for the companies! Refineries chosen by NNPC to participate in the swaps as outlined in Section 4 of the Petroleum Act and Section 20 of the NNPC Act.”