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NNPCL’s $3.3bn loan deal, Atiku tackles Tinubu, says Nigeria deserves explanation

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Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, Atiku Abubakar, has accused President Bola Tinubu, of not giving an account of the $3.3 billion emergency crude repayment loan controversy involving the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).

The former Vice President asked Tinubu to explain the details of the loan to the Nigerian people, as he bombarded him with many questions.

The NNPCL secured a $3.3 billion emergency crude repayment loan arranged by the African Export-Import Bank, on August 16, 2023 – a transaction targeted at supporting the Naira and stabilising the foreign exchange market.

The $3.3 billion crude-for-cash loan was also aimed at supporting the Federal Government’s monetary and fiscal reforms.

Weeks after the announcement, the Federal Government received $2.25 billion out of the $3.3 billion FX facility from the African Export-Import Bank.

Reacting in a statement on his X account on Thursday, Atiku criticised Tinubu for hoarding the information, while the only available information to the public on the mega-deal was released through sources from the NNPCL.

The former Vice President said a Special Purpose Vehicle called Project Gazelle Funding Limited is driving the deal, and it was incorporated in the Bahamas.

He said, “SPV is the borrower while the NNPCL 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.”

The statement added, “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 $3.3bn 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.”

Atiku insisted that there are questions to be answered on the integrity of this deal, and charged the Federal Government to talk directly on details behind the deal.

He asked, “Has the Federal Government accessed the loan? 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 of 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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Tinubu approves take-off of N100bn consumer credit for Nigerians

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the commencement of the N100 billion Consumer Credit Scheme for Nigerians amid escalating economic hardship in the country.

Ajuri Ngelale, the President’s spokesperson, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

He stated that interested Nigerians are expected to visit the portal of Nigerian Consumer Credit Corporation before May 15, 2024.

“Consumer credit serves as the lifeblood of modern economies, enabling citizens to enhance their quality of life by accessing goods and services upfront, paying responsibly over time. It facilitates crucial purchases, such as homes, vehicles, education, and healthcare, which are essential for ongoing stability and the pursuit of their aspirations.

“Individuals build credit histories through responsible repayment, unlocking more opportunities for a better life. The increased demand for goods and services also stimulates local industry and job creation.

“The President believes every hardworking Nigerian should have access to social mobility, with consumer credit playing a pivotal role in achieving this vision.

“The Nigerian Consumer Credit Corporation (CREDICORP) achieves its mandate through the following: Strengthening Nigeria’s credit reporting systems and ensuring every economically active citizen has a dependable credit score. This score becomes personal equity they build, facilitating access to consumer credit, Offering credit guarantees and wholesale lending to financial institutions dedicated to broadening consumer credit access today and Promoting responsible consumer credit as a pathway to an improved quality of life, fostering a cultural shift towards growth and financial responsibility.

“In line with the President’s directive to expand consumer credit access to Nigerians, the Nigerian Consumer Credit Corporation (CREDICORP) has launched a portal for Nigerians to express interest in receiving consumer credit.

“This initiative, in collaboration with financial institutions and cooperatives nationwide, aims to broaden consumer credit availability.

“Working Nigerians interested in receiving consumer credit can visit www.credicorp.ng to express interest. The deadline is May 15, 2024.

“The scheme will be rolled out in phases, starting with members of the civil service and cascading to members of the public,” the statement said.

Recall that two months ago, a presidential spokesman, Bayo Onanuga, announced that the Federal Executive Council had given the nod for the establishment of the Consumer Credit Scheme.

He said the President’s Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, will lead a committee that includes the Budget Minister, Attorney-General, and Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Finance to make the scheme a reality.

In March, the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service Chairman, Zacch Adedeji, said the Nigerian government would unveil its proposed N100 billion consumer credit loan in a few days.

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Nigerian Govt grounds Dana Air operations

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The Nigerian Government has suspended the operations of Dana Air.

The order followed an incident involving a Dana Air plane at Lagos airport on April 23, which forced aviation authorities to divert flights from local to international airport.

The decision was announced by Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo.

Details shortly…

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CBN disowns notice on cryptocurrency transactions

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The Central Bank of Nigeria says a notice circulating on social media about the risk of cryptocurrency is fake news.

The Apex disclosed this via its official X account, urging the public to disregard the purported notice for all Deposits Money Bank, Non-Bank Financial Institutions, and other Financial Institutions.

The notice reminded “Institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies and facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited”.

However, CBN said the content doesn’t originate from it.

“This information does not originate from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“For authentic updates, please visit the official website,” CBN wrote.

Recall that the CBN governor, during the Bank’s 293rd Monetary Policy Committee meeting, said over $26 billion funnelled through Binance.

On Tuesday, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, said the anti-graft agency froze about 300 accounts to ensure the safety of the foreign exchange market.

The Nigerian government had continued clamping down on Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms amid efforts to defend the Naira in the foreign exchange market.

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