A senior government official on Sunday assured that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) followed due process in securing the $3billion emergency crude oil repayment loan from the African Export-Import (AFRIEXIM) Bank headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.
The oil-for-cash loan is to be utilized to support the naira as it continues its free fall and also stabilise the foreign exchange market.
A competent source privy to the loan arrangement told NewsQuest that President Bola Tinubu’s economic team was deeply involved in structuring the terms of agreement for the $3 billion loan.
The source who prefers not to be quoted because he was not authorized to speak, said contrary to the false information being peddled that the loan arrangement did not follow due process, there was no way that a loan of such magnitude could have been negotiated and signed by the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company PLC ithout due process.
According to him, “I can confidently tell you that the Minister of Finance and the President are aware of the details of the loan because they actually initiated it. So no cause for alerm”.
The source explained that there was no way a loan of such nature would not be subjected to critical analysis.
“Those who structured the loan know the implications for the country. So everything was done to ensure that the future of Nigeria was not mortgaged. There is no cause for alarm and those who are expressing fear and pessimism have no reason to do so.
“We understand their fears but we want to assure them that the loan is for the good of NIgeria and that there are no reasons to be persimistic about the loan,” The source added.
Speaking further, he said, “the President and his team of advisers did with the NNPCL $3 billion loan is just for the good of Nigeria. The President is ready to welcome any other sound economic idea from any well meaning Nigerian that will breathe life into the country’s struggling economy. Those criticizing the loan should come up with superior suggestions and if they are good, the President is ready to apply them”.
Nigeria has faced foreign exchange liquidity challenge leading to the drastic fall of the Naira since the unification of the foreign exchange rate by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June.
The Cairo loan signing process saw the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd, Mele Kyari signing for the National Oil Company while George Elimbi, Executive Vice President Afreximbank signed for the bank.
GMD and Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL Mele Kyari while responding to our correspondent’s further request for comments said,
“they have no clue what due process means. NNPC is now a private limited liability company,” assuring that officials indeed followed due process in securing the loan.