The dust whipped up by the leaked letter of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources has not settled yet.

More comments are still pouring in from the Presidency to clear the air on the issues that have trailed the memo addressed to the President.

The Presidency on Sunday said no contracts worth $25 billion were awarded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and that $25 billion is not also missing.

The spokesperson for the Vice President, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Sunday stressed that no contracts were procured by the NNPC based on the leaked memo.

Akande explained that a close look at each of the said projects indicated clearly that “these are not procurement contracts”.

He said: “When I tweeted on Thursday morning, I had indicated that the Vice President, while acting as President approved Joint Venture Financing arrangements.

“But for some curious reasons, a few media reports used that tweet to report that I said the then Acting President approved N640 billion worth of oil contracts.

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“Such reporting is both false and misleading and therefore, ought to be completely ignored by all seekers of truth.

“When you look diligently at the referenced projects/transactions one by one, you will see, as NNPC has shown, that none of them was actually a procurement contract”.

“Take the Crude Term Contract and the Direct Sale, Direct Purchase (DSDP) agreements, for instance, these are not procurement contracts involving the expenditure of public funds.

“Both transactions are simply a shortlisting process in which prospective off-takers of crude oil and suppliers of petroleum are selected under agreed terms, and in accordance with due process.

“It is therefore wrong and misleading to refer to them as though they’re contracts involving the expenditure of NNPC funds, or public funds of any sort”.

According to him, the Petroleum Minister had clarified that he meant “to focus on administrative and governance issues, not red-flag any fraud, because no fraud exists in this matter.”

For both transactions, Akande reiterated that there was falsehood and also inaccurate to attach 10 billion dollars and five billion dollars values on them.

“Attaching monetary values to these contracts is an arbitrary act that completely distorts understanding of the situation.”

On the proceeds that come from oil lifted in Nigeria, Mr Akande highlighted that such “proceeds go directly to the Federation Account and not to any company”.

“In fact, the Buhari administration in the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), has closed down multiple NNPC accounts in order to promote transparency and probity.”

Akande also explained that in compiling the shortlist for prospective off-takers of crude oil and suppliers of petroleum under agreed terms, “there were public placements of advert in the mass media seeking Expressions of Interest.

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“Bids were publicly opened in the presence of NEITI, DPR, BPP, Civil Society groups and the media; in some cases even, these events were televised live.”

“For the sake of emphasis, let me state clearly that both the Crude Term Contract and the Direct Sale and Direct Purchase agreements are not contracts for any procurement of goods, works or services,’’ he added.

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