Tambuwal queries NNPC over $1.56bn loan
By OKEY NDIRIBE & EMMAN OVUAKPORIE
ABUJA—Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, yesterday, queried the proposed $1.56 billion loan by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, saying it was neither reflected in the 2013 budget that was presented to the National Assembly nor included in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.
However, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke and Group Managing Director, GMD, NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, in separate statements before the House Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream), Aids, Loans and Debt Management and Justice, claimed that the money in question was not a loan but a forward sales agreement between the Corporation and its trading partners in lieu of the Corporation’ s indebtedness to them.
Tambuwal made the statement while declaring open the public hearing on the said loan by the House Joint Committee.
He said: “The public hearing was in line with the resolve of the 7th House to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians and also ensure the entrenchment of a policy that the citizenry could be proud of.”
While encouraging the Joint Investigative Committee to do a thorough work on the matter, Tambuwal, who was represented by the Chief Whip of the House, Mr. Ishiaka Bawa expressed optimism that the findings and recommendations of the panel would tremendously influence the direction and decisions of the Parliament.
He said: “Its importance is predicated on the fact that the proposed loan was neither captured in the 2013-2015 Medium Term Framework, nor the 2013 budget.”
“As a Parliament, we believe that if we continue on the path of truth, history shall vindicate us. I assure you that members of the Seventh Assembly are fully committed to bringing the dividends of democracy to our people, and ensuring that we have a policy that we shall all be proud of.
“It is on account of this belief that the House in its wisdom referred this matter to the committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream), Aids, Loans and Debt Management and Justice to investigate fully and report back to the House.
“We are convinced that your findings and recommendations will greatly influence the direction that the House will take, and therefore urge you to do a thorough job. As leaders, we must be sensitive to the needs of our people and do only those things that will reflect us in a positive light.”
In his opening remark, the Chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), and lead Chairman of the Joint Committee, Muraina Ajibola, assured stakeholders that the Committee was only performing its constitutional function and would not witch-hunt anybody in the process.