The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has dismissed the allegation that the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline project was inflated to the tune of $1.53bn.

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The NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Kennie Obateru, revealed that the corporation brought the accusation that the corporation inflated the project to the attention of the Bureau for Public Procurement.

He said the BPP rejected the speculative analysis and accusation against the oil firm by an online medium and described the allegation as false.

In a statement issued by Obateru in Abuja, he said, “This is clearly a concocted analysis aimed at attacking the character of the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, and the integrity of the BPP.

“Kyari did not become the GMD until July 2019 and he is being mentioned in a process that took place in 2017 by the account of the publication.

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This is rather unfortunate and malicious, considering that a further cut of $300m of the contract value was achieved under the Mele Kyari-led NNPC management.”

The statement explained that BPP, following a review and analysis of the procurement bid, confirmed that the unit costs for line pipes adopted by the NNPC for the project were reasonable when compared with current market prices of steel pipes.