Thursday, February 29, 2024
HomePoliticsAtiku Tasks Tinubu To Come Clean On NNPC's $3.3bn Emergency Loan 

Atiku Tasks Tinubu To Come Clean On NNPC’s $3.3bn Emergency Loan 

says Presidency owes Nigerians explanation 

OSAS EMMANUEL

NIGERIA: Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has tasked President Bola Tinubu to come clean on his administration’s resolve to secure a $3.3 billion emergency crude repayment loan, through the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC). 

Recall that precisely on August 16, 2023, the Federal Government said the loan was to help give support to the Naira and stabilise the Foreign Exchange market.

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2023 general election, said it is curious that up till now, the Federal Government continues to keep mum about the loan, while saying  the only information available to the public on the mega deal is coming only through unofficial sources from the NNPC.

The deal, he said, “is supposed to be a crude-for-cash loan arranged by the African Export-Import Bank.”

Atiku, in a personally signed statement on Thursday, said according to information available, a Special Purpose Vehicle called Project Gazelle Funding Limited is driving the deal, and it was incorporated in the Bahamas. 

“The SPV is the borrower while the NNPC is the sponsor, with an agreement to pay with crude oil to the SPV in order to liquidate the loan at an interest rate that is a little over 12 per cent.

“What is even more confounding about this deal is why the Federal Government would register a company in the Bahamas, knowing full well the recent scandal of the Paradise Papers that involved that country.

“Curiously also, Nigeria’s current Barrels Produced Daily (BPD) is 1.38 million, and according to the Project Gazelle deal, Nigeria is to supply 90,000 Barrels of its daily production, starting from 2024 till it is up to 164.25 million barrels for the repayment of the loan.

“Now, this is where the details get disturbing because Nigeria’s benchmark for the sale of crude per barrel in 2024 is $77.96. A simple multiplication of that figure by 164.25 will give us a whooping $12bn.

“It is on this note that we are calling on the Federal Government to speak up on this shady deal. 

“It is inconceivable that the Federal Government will lead the country to take a loan of $3.3b with an interest rate that is not more than 12 per cent, but with estimated repayment amounting to $12bn.  

“That is a humongous differential of about $7b between what is in the details of the deal on paper and what indeed is the reality.

“There are questions to be answered on the integrity of this deal, and we earnestly request the Federal Government to talk directly on these cloudy details behind the deal.”

Atiku Abubakar, therefore, demanded 

 on behalf of the ordinary people of Nigeria, that the Federal Government should clearly state whether it has  accessed the loan?.

Probing further, the Turakin Adamawa asked: “Is the loan in the government’s borrowing plan as approved by the National Assembly? Who are the parties to the loan, and what specific roles are they expected to play? What are the conditions to the loan, including tenor, repayment terms, the collateral, and the interest rate? and, lastly, why register an SPV in the Bahamas knowing the recent scandal of the country’s notoriety for warehousing unclean assets?”

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