Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Former NCDMB Executive Secretary Trade Allegations of Over $500 Million Investments and Loans


The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, and former Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, engaged in a heated exchange yesterday, trading allegations involving investments and loans amounting to over $500 million.

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Wabote initially accused Lokpobiri of initiating a questionable request in December 2023 to increase the NCDMB budget by N30 billion for the office of the minister. He claimed that Lokpobiri’s unidentified aide, referred to as “Blackson,” made the request, which Wabote deemed unprecedented and unwarranted.

In response, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources vehemently denied the allegations, dismissing them as baseless lies. He challenged Wabote to provide evidence of the purported conversation and clarified that he had no aide named Blackson. The minister reaffirmed his commitment to transparency, inviting journalists to verify the allegations independently.

Additionally, the minister addressed specific projects mentioned by Wabote, such as the Atlantic Refinery and the Brass Fertilizer and Petrochemical Company. He welcomed scrutiny of these projects, asserting that investigations were ongoing to uncover the truth and recover any misappropriated funds for the benefit of Nigerians.

The statement emphasized that previous revelations had surfaced during a House of Representatives committee hearing on local content, indicating a precedent for such accusations. The minister reiterated his impeccable track record and commitment to truth and accountability, underscoring that his office’s budget was managed by the permanent secretary, not external entities.

In conclusion, the minister affirmed his dedication to fulfilling his responsibilities, ensuring that resources meant for Nigerians are utilized judiciously and transparently.

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