The Lead Director of the Centre for Social Justice, Eze Onyekpere, and the Group Vice President and Head, Energy Division of Platinum Vault Group, Muazu Mogaji, on Thursday disagreed over the recent controversy rocking the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
They appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today with Seun Okinbaloye.
While Onyekpere who is a lawyer faulted NNPC Group Managing Director Dr Maikanti Baru for skipping the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, in taking major decision and seeking approvals for contracts, Mogaji argued that due process was followed.
Onyekpere said: “If you look at the powers of the board under the NNPC Act Vis a Vis the powers and duties of the NNPC Managing Director, and then you come back to where they talked about agreements that are going to be contacts where the authentication has to be done by the signature of the chairman of the board. Then you ask yourself, ‘If the board chairman is not aware of this, if he didn’t sign off, hasn’t the law been breached?”
But Mogaji, an energy expert, countered, saying that the President being the Minister of Petroleum and “substantive chairman of the board” gave his approval.
He said: “Basically, the issue here is that there is the responsibility of the GMD as the chief operating officer of the NNPC and there is the responsibility of the minister and in this case we have to ministers – the substantive minister who happens to be the President and the minister of state. The chairmanship of the board has been delegated to the minister of state by the substantive chairman who happens to be the senior minister.
“What is the procedure required for the approval? Ordinarily, a senior minister will chair the board and the senior minister can by virtue of the law delegate his responsibility to somebody else to chair the board – and in this case, he has done it to the minister of state but that does not preclude the senior minister from taking decisions on behalf of the board. It is very clear in the legal instrument of the NNPC.”
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