Connect with us

Network8tv Special

Atiku Demands Transparency: Urges President Tinubu to Clarify Dubious $3.3 Billion NNPCL Loan



Atiku Demands Transparency: Urges President Tinubu to Clarify Dubious $3.3 Billion NNPCL Loan

Atiku Demands Transparency: Urges President Tinubu to Clarify Dubious $3.3 Billion NNPCL Loan

In a bold move demanding transparency and accountability, Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag-bearer in the 2023 presidential election, has called on President Bola Tinubu to provide a detailed explanation regarding the $3.3 billion emergency crude repayment loan taken by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL). Atiku’s demand, articulated in a statement released on Thursday, January 25, 2024, shines a spotlight on a deal that raises questions about its intricacies, funding sources, and the potential financial implications for the nation.  The loan, secured by the NNPCL on August 16, 2023, under the leadership of Group Chief Executive Officer Mele Kolo Kyari, was intended to bolster the naira and stabilize the foreign exchange market. The announcement of the deal was made after Kyari signed the agreement for crude-for-cash funding in Cairo, Egypt. Facilitated by the African Export-Import Bank, also known as Afreximbank, the loan aimed to support the Federal Government in its fiscal and monetary policy reforms.  Recently, the Federal Government received the first tranche of $2.25 billion from Afreximbank, marking a significant development in the execution of the loan agreement. However, Atiku’s concerns center on the lack of comprehensive information made available to the public, with the NNPCL being the primary source of details surrounding the massive financial transaction.  Atiku drew attention to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called Project Gazelle Funding Limited, responsible for driving the deal. Notably, this entity was incorporated in the Bahamas, a detail that has raised eyebrows given the recent Paradise Papers scandal associated with the country. According to Atiku, the SPV is the borrower, and the NNPCL is the sponsor, with an agreement to repay the loan with crude oil at an interest rate slightly exceeding 12 percent.  The former Vice President questioned the rationale behind the Federal Government registering a company in the Bahamas, considering the country’s recent involvement in the Paradise Papers scandal. Furthermore, Atiku delved into the specifics of the deal, expressing deep reservations about the projected repayment plan and the potential financial burden on Nigeria.  He stated, “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 $12 billion.” Atiku highlighted the massive discrepancy of about $7 billion between the projected repayment amount and the details outlined in the deal.  Atiku’s call for transparency extended to the Federal Government, urging them to address critical questions surrounding the loan. These include whether the Federal Government has accessed the loan, if it is included in the government’s borrowing plan approved by the National Assembly, the parties involved in the loan, and their specific roles. He also sought clarity on the loan’s conditions, including tenor, repayment terms, collateral, and interest rate.  In his statement, Atiku emphasized the need for the government to directly engage with the Nigerian public, ensuring that citizens are well-informed about the details of the deal. His insistence on transparency and accountability underscored the potential ramifications of such a significant financial transaction on the nation’s economic well-being.  As Atiku’s demand reverberates across the political landscape, the spotlight is firmly on President Tinubu and his administration to provide clarity on a deal that has raised more questions than answers. The call for transparency in financial dealings is a rallying cry that resonates with citizens eager to understand the intricacies of significant economic decisions impacting the nation.  In conclusion, Atiku’s demand for transparency regarding the $3.3 billion NNPCL loan places a critical lens on a deal shrouded in uncertainty. The incorporation of an SPV in the Bahamas, coupled with discrepancies in projected repayment amounts, has sparked concerns about the deal’s integrity. As the nation awaits President Tinubu’s response, the call for openness and clarity in financial matters gains momentum, underscoring the importance of accountability in shaping Nigeria’s economic future.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *