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Atiku asks Nigerian govt to shed light on NNPC’s $3.3bn crude-for-cash loan



Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Thursday asked the Federal Government to provide more explanations on the $3.3 billion emergency loan to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).

The NNPCL in August last year said it had secured an emergency $3.3 million emergency crude-for-cash loan from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to support the naira and stabilize the foreign exchange market.

The federal government received $2.25 billion from the bank in December 2023.

In a post on his X platform, the former vice president decried the government’s refusal to make information on the loan available to Nigerians.

He alleged that a special-purpose vehicle called Project Gazelle Funding Limited incorporated in the Bahamas was behind the deal.

Atiku wrote: “What is 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.

READ ALSO: NNPCL uncovers 83 illegal refineries in one week

“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 $3.3bn with an interest rate that is not more than 12 percent, 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.”

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