By Usman Shuaibu
A civil society group, PMB Oil and Gas Progress, has condemned what it termed “deliberate misinformation” against the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru.
A statement by the group’s National Coordinator, Alh. Abdullahi Muhammad noted that the story about a purported N50 billion being exemption from TSA was “baseless, unfounded and designed to tarnish the reputation of GMD of NNPC for political gains”.
The statement expressed disappointment over “the way and manner some fifth columnists have decided to use the media to launch a viral attack on the GMD of NNPC”.
It described as false, “the entire story making the rounds and a calculated attempt to paint the GMD in bad light, given the rate at which opposition elements in the PDP are spreading this falsehood”.
The group warned that any attempt to dent the image of the GMD of NNPC would collapse because “ it was planned to divert the people’s attention from the success being recorded in the area of oil and gas through ‘the revolutionary efforts of Maikanti Baru”.
The statement also added that “no amount of cheap blackmail against Dr. Maikanti Baru will ever succeed because the man is working hard to break record in efficient and effective management of the affairs of the petroleum corporation, the best so far in more than a decade”.
Recall that the NNPC, has debunked a publication by an online medium, purporting that the Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Abba Kyari, directed the corporation to keep N50 billion away from the Treasury Single Account, TSA.
In a statement by the NNPC’s Public Affairs Division General Manager, Ndu Ughamadu, and made available to reporters in Abuja, the corporation said that at no time did the NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, make such a statement.
NNPC statement read thus; “The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has disclaimed the allegation that its Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, had ever stated in any fora that the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, ‘directed the Corporation to keep the sum of N50billion away from the Treasury Single Account (TSA).’
“NNPC wishes to state that the allegation is baseless, and is a clear misrepresentation of the truth.
“An online publication made the allegation recently.
“By virtue of the operations of the NNPC, the Corporation had made series of compelling cases to the Presidency and the Central Bank of Nigeria to allow certain categories of accounts operate outside the TSA, as they contain co-mingled funds governed by detailed agreements with local and international implications.
“NNPC equally wishes to state that while these necessary approvals sought by the NNPC were graciously given by the Presidency, the Chief of Staff merely conveyed the notice of these approvals to the Corporation.
“In the same vein, members of the relevant committee of the National Assembly have requested for copies of such approvals, which were duly provided by the Corporation.
“To claim that the Chief of Staff single-handedly approved these exemptions was not only unfair, but is a complete misrepresentation of facts to mislead the general public.”