• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Petroleum minister denies employing chartered jet for private use

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Diezani Alison-Madueke, the minister of petroleum resources, has denied that she chartered any aircraft for her exclusive use.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), in a statement, said the minister did not charter any aircraft for personal use or the use of her family.

According to Omar Farouk Ibrahim, NNPC spokesman, “Contrary to the information being peddled in some quarters, Alison-Madueke has not chartered any aircraft for her personal use or the use of her family”.

NNPC, however, noted that in consonance with the legal instrument which established the corporation as a commercial entity to
engage in the oil and gas sector, the NNPC in the course of discharging its statutory and commercial functions engages third parties for the provision of services outside of its core business. A practice, the corporation noted, is common and acceptable in the local and international business environment in which it operates.

It stated further that there is nothing prohibiting NNPC from owning or chartering an aircraft. On the contrary, by the enabling legislation, NNPC is empowered to “hold, manage and alienate moveable and immovable property and enter into contracts or partnerships with any company or persons, which in the opinion of the corporation will facilitate the discharge of the said duties under this Act”.

Operations in the oil and gas sector, it noted, are time sensitive and often require prompt attention, which cannot be achieved using
regular scheduled flights.

“It is standard practice for large oil and gas corporations such as NNPC to make use of the most efficient means of transportation to ensure the effective and efficient coverage of the vast scope of critical oil and gas assets under their purview”, Ibrahim said.

The NNPC has always availed itself of the use of owned or chartered aircraft for the purpose of its business, which includes the
transportation of its top functionaries, he said “In this regard, it is pertinent to note that the international oil companies operating
in joint ventures with NNPC regularly charter aircraft as dictated by the exigencies of their business”, Ibrahim noted in the statement.

Olusola Bello