The Nigerian constitution does not allow the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to take a loan from financial institutions to fund any enterprise owned by a private corporate body or individual such as Dangote Refinery.
The People’s Alternative Political Movement (TPAP-M) stated this a press release it distributed to media houses and signed by Comrade Omotoye Olorode and Comrade Jaye Gaskia.
The group warned that it would take the NNPC to court if it goes ahead to take the proposed unapproved $3.2billion loan which it wanted to use to fund Dangote Refinery.
TPAP-M also called on the Minister of Petroleum Resources to immediately restrain the Management of the NNPC to stop the transaction as the aforementioned conditions were not met.
The statement partly reads, “Pursuant to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Act (Cap. N123) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is vested with the power to engage in all commercial activities relating to the petroleum industry and to enforce all regulatory measures relating to the general control of the petroleum sector through its petroleum inspectorate department.
“Like his predecessor, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, President Muhammadu Buhari made himself the Minister of Petroleum Resources. As the supervising minister, the President is in charge of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
*The NNPC recently announced that it had concluded arrangements to take a loan of $3.2billion to acquire 20 per cent in the Dangote Refinery which is expected to be completed in 2022. It is estimated that the 20 per cent will be valued at not less than $4 billion.
TPAP-M alleged that the Federal Government granted approval for the Dangote Refinery to be sited in the Free Economic Zone in Lagos, granted duty waivers in respect of the imported machinery and special concession to purchase foreign currencies at the official rate.
“Thus, the contribution of the Federal Government to the Dangote Refinery is more than $4billion.
“However, upon a critical review of the relevant provisions of the Constitution and other relevant statutes TPAP-M has found that the NNPC lacks the power to take a loan from financial institutions to fund the enterprise owned by a private corporate body or individual.
“From the information at our disposal, the NNPC did not seek the approval of the Federal Executive Council to borrow the said sum of $3.2 billion. Furthermore, under the current political dispensation the power of Government at all tiers to borrow is regulated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.
”It is undoubtedly clear that the Federal Government did not seek the approval of the National Assembly to borrow the said sum of $3.2billion.
”In view of the undeniable fact that the NNPC has neither sought the approval of the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly to borrow the sum of $3.2 billion to invest in Dangote Refinery, we call on the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources to restrain the Management of the NNPC to stop the illegal transaction without any further delay.
“However, if the NNPC is allowed to take the loan, TPAPM will not hesitate to invoke section 51 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act which states that “A person shall have legal capacity to enforce the provision of this Act by obtaining prerogative orders or other remedies at the Federal High Court, without having to show any special particular interest.”