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“Explain $3.3 billion NNPCL loan” — Atiku tasks Nigeria’s President



"Explain $3.3 billion NNPCL loan" -- Atiku tasks Nigeria's President

Former Vice President and 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has called on President Bola Tinubu to provide clarity on the $3.3 billion emergency crude repayment loan obtained by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).

Last August, the NNPCL secured a $3.3 billion emergency crude repayment loan from the African Export-Import Bank to stabilize the foreign exchange market. Recently, the Federal Government received $2.25 billion from the $3.3 billion facility.

In a statement, Atiku expressed concern that the only information available to the public regarding the deal is coming from sources within the NNPCL. He highlighted that a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) named Project Gazelle Funding Limited is overseeing the deal and has been incorporated in the Bahamas.

According to Atiku, the SPV is the borrower, and the NNPCL is the sponsor, with an agreement to repay the loan using crude oil at an interest rate slightly over 12 percent.

Atiku raised questions about the deal, particularly the decision to register a company in the Bahamas, given the recent scandal involving the Paradise Papers and that particular jurisdiction.

He pointed out that Nigeria’s current daily oil production is 1.38 million barrels, and as per the Project Gazelle deal, the country is committed to supplying 90,000 barrels daily from 2024 until it reaches 164.25 million barrels for loan repayment.

Atiku emphasized the financial implications of the deal, stating that the estimated repayment amounts to a staggering $12 billion based on Nigeria’s crude oil benchmark of $77.96 per barrel in 2024.