Immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has denied allegations that she refused to sign a $15 billion oil deal involving an Indian firm, insisting the allegations made by the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Ajjampur R. Ghanashyam, was spurious, unfounded, libelous, and intended to malign her person.
Alison-Madueke, who spoke through her lawyers, Messers Chike Obi, said the High Commissioner’s acrimony towards her was due to the Federal Government’s refusal to allow an Indian firm, Oil and Gas Commission Videsh Limited, OVL, default on its contractual obligation to provide a $6 billion investment, around RS 36,600 rupees in an 180,000 barrels, bpd Greenfield refinery and 2,000 megawatt power plant and railway line from East to West of Nigeria.
The former Minister of Petroleum explained that the publication by Ghanashyam to the effect that she delayed the approval of oil concession to two Indian companies, Oil and Gas Commission Videsh Limited, OVL and Mittal Energy International JV, OMEL, MITTAL in 2006, after receiving a $25,000,000.00 signature bonus, was spurious, false and lacking in substance.
Madueke clarified that she was not the Minister of Petroleum Resources in 2006 when the Indian companies entered into contractual agreement with the Federal Government and as such, would not have received any signature bonus either as citizen or as Minister.
She also said she had no personal reason to delay the contract and wondered why the High Commissioner will choose to malign and attack her, rather than commend her acting dispassionately in recommending for refund of the said signature bonus to the Indians when the matter was brought to her attention at the twilight of her tenure as Minister.
Ghanashyam had recently said that Allison Madueke, failed to sign a long-term agreement with New Delhi, Nigeria’s number one oil buyer, but used intermediaries in the annual $15 billion deal.
The High Commissioner stated that Nigeria was the only country that uses intermediaries in its oil deals with India and that rather than signing long-term agreement, she delayed approval of Oil Concession after receiving $25 million signature bonus.
India is now Nigeria’s number one crude buyer with importation that grosses $15 billion yearly,” Ghanashyam said.
“From other countries, when we buy oil, whatever we want to pay, we pay to the Ministry of Finance of that country. In Nigeria, we pay to intermediaries. We would like to be dealing directly with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. It is not a good thing. Why should we go through intermediaries?
“Secondly, we would also like to have long term agreement, which we have with countries like Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and others from where we buy oil. Nigeria is the only country with whom we do not have an agreement. When we write a letter to NNPC, we don’t get a response,” Ghanashyam said.

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