The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said there were no ulterior motives behind its special dinner with members of the National Assembly scheduled for Tuesday, October 31, but that the dinner was just part of its routine stakeholders engagement.
The NNPC, via its twitter handle Tuesday, said the engagement began since April.
Speculations were rife following reports of the dinner; Ripples Nigeria had reported on the special dinner earlier, having gotten hold of a copy of the invitation card in Abuja.
But the NNPC denied reports that the corporation was trying to influence members of the National Assembly and derail the planned probe of its activities and its Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, by the Senate, over the $25 billion contract scandal made public by the leaked memo of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu.
“The attention of the NNPC Group has been drawn to online publication claiming it has organised a ‘special dinner’ for National Assembly members, following plans to investigate Dr. Maikanti Baru over Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu’s memo.
“NNPC Group wishes to state that the dinner was part of the Corporation’s routine stakeholders’ engagement, which began since April this year.
“In April this year, NNPC Group had organised similar stakeholder dinner for publishers, editors and correspondents based in Abuja.” It said
The Corporation went on to say on its Twitter handle that the dinner for members of the National Assembly was earlier scheduled for April, but was postponed because the lawmakers were on recess.
It noted that the dinner was then rescheduled for May, but was postponed again when Baru lost a relative.
“The dinner was to hold in July this year; again, due to unavailability of the lawmakers as a result of Sallah break, it was called off.
“It is important to note that all the National Assembly core committees relevant to oil and gas industry had agreed to October 31 for the dinner.
“Unfortunately, the lawmakers were slated to have an engagement with the Presidency today. Thus, the dinner has been called off today.
“Having been slated since April and postponed due to certain circumstances, the dinner could not have coincided with the National Assembly’s investigation of the Group Managing Director,” it said
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