The Presidency has replied to the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, over the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited’s (NNPCL) $3.3 billion emergency crude repayment loan.
Naija News recalls that the repayment loan was secured on August 16, 2023, and was designed to bolster the naira and stabilize the foreign exchange market.
The transaction, arranged by the African Export-Import Bank, was not only intended to support the national currency but also to aid the Federal Government’s monetary and fiscal reforms.
Notably, three weeks ago, the Federal Government received $2.25 billion of the $3.3 billion foreign exchange facility from the bank.
However, in a statement on Thursday, Atiku called on President Bola Tinubu to provide a detailed account of the repayment loan, adding that the only available details were emerging from sources within the NNPCL.
He highlighted that the transaction is being facilitated by a Special Purpose Vehicle named Project Gazelle Funding Limited, which was incorporated in the Bahamas.
Reacting to Atiku’s query on Thursday, presidential aide, Otega Ogra said the Tinubu’s administration has taken the time to educate all Nigerians further on the loan at various times.
He said the loan also known as Project Gazelle, is a financing agreement secured by NNPC Limited to prepay future royalties and taxes to the federal government.
Ogra stated that NNPC Limited’s project is a forward-thinking financial strategy that aligns operational needs with broader economic goals by utilising future crude oil sales for immediate funding, enhancing liquidity, and contributing to Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves.
He said the project showcases NNPC Limited’s operational autonomy and financial acumen while ensuring immediate liquidity, minimising the impact on future earnings, and potentially enhancing Nigeria’s credit rating.
Ogra noted that the repayments are strategically planned and tied to future oil sales, with conservative pricing in oil sales contracts mitigating the risks associated with oil price volatility.