Our attention has been drawn to a report on some online websites claiming that His Excellency, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Niger Delta Power Holding Company approved the sum of $3 million for a gas project at (NDPHC) without following due process.
For the purpose of clarity and the records it is important to state that the news report is false and malicious as the Vice President has never approved the release of any money without following due process.
If anything, as chairman of the Board of NDPHC, the Vice President is the one known to always insisting that due process be followed in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
The contract in question was awarded in 2009 with appropriate due process approvals which means that the tender process had since been passed and approved. Upon completion of the project in 2016, the company that handled the contract, Kaztec Engineering Limited made claims on NDPHC for delays, fluctuation of prices and additional works. Upon receipt of the Claim, NDPHC management set up a team to review the claim and negotiate work with the Project Consultant to negotiate the contractor’s claim. Considering that the claim was within the originally approved provisional sum it was imperative for NDPHC to advise the board through the Chairman of the negotiated amount and seek approval to commence the processing of the payment. There was no need for tenders because it is an existing contract already engaged before the current management team was appointed. The anticipatory approval for the process to go forward granted by the Chairman was subsequently ratified by the Board of NDPHC.
BPP’s review and no objection approval was part of the process for payment. Despite that, the payment was to be made from provisional sums approved by due process since 2009 and no fresh fund was to be injected to pay the claims, NDPHC still presented the claims to BPP for review as part of the payment process. BPP then carried out an extensive review and even varied the sum, that is, BPP reviewed downwards, the negotiated amount and that is what was paid only after BPP approved payment.
At no time did the Vice President not follow due process because it was the BPP that reviewed and approved the contract and not the Vice President as the false reports had claimed. There was no payment made or ultimately processed until BPP had granted the approval.
A proper scrutiny of the news report also shows that the purveyors of the fake news clearly explained that due process was followed because the news report itself indicated that BPP approved the payment ever before any payment was made. Why will a news outlet run a story that is completely of no public value? This question is pertinent especially because the story itself made it abundantly clear that there was no payment before BPP reviewed and approved the payment after it had the same.
NDPHC and the Vice President are committed to the diligent service of Nigeria and Nigerians and they will continue to do so despite the purveyors of fake news. Why the publishers of this story portrayed lies and falsehoods suggesting payment was approved when no payment was made until BPP gave the okay remains a riddle.