N135bn Loan: Senate panel threatens Dangote Refinery, Delta govt, 13 oil firms

A Senate committee, on Thursday, threatened to report some oil and gas companies in the country to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) if they are found culpable of misappropriating a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention loan of N135 billion.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Gas Resources, Agom Jarigbe, issued the threat when the beneficiary companies appeared before the committee to explain how they utilised the loan.
The N135 billion loan was disbursed to 15 oil and gas companies under the Nigeria Gas Expansion Programme intervention fund of the CBN.
Mr Jarigbe said NIPCO Gas Ltd obtained N25 billion loan, NIPCO Plc (N5 billion), Hyde Energy Ltd (N2 billion), and Lee Engineering and Construction Company (N15 billion) from the intervention fund.

Others are Pinnacle Oil And Gas Fze (N10 billion), Transit Gas Limited (N8 billion), Amalgamated Oil Company Nig Ltd (N5 billion) and Gas Nexus Ltd (N10 billion).
First Modular Gas Systems Limited got N4.3 billion, Novagas Limited (N1 billion), Greenville Liquified Natural Gas Company (N10 billion) and AP LPG Limited (N8 billion).
Dangote Oil Refinery (N5 billion), Delta State Government (N20 billion) and Mob Integrated Services Limited (N2.5 billion).
Mr Jarigbe, the senator representing Cross River North, said members of his committee have observed that some of the companies did not utilise the fund for the purpose it was obtained.
He said the Senate would not hesitate to involve anti-corruption agencies to forcefully recover the funds from any of the companies which failed to utilise the loan judiciously.
“The task of the committee is to ensure that the companies actually expended the funds on what they collected it for.

“The observation of the committee is that there are inconsistencies in the process and the committee may not hesitate to involve the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to recover the funds” he said.
Mr Jarigbe also noted that some of the beneficiary companies did not follow the guidelines and standard procedures before obtaining the loan.
“Some of the beneficiaries did not follow the guidelines. For instance, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources is not even aware that the funds had been released.

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“The guidelines stated clearly without ambiguity that they are supposed to do evaluation at the ministry before the list of the qualified ones would be sent to the CBN for them to access the loans but that was not done properly,” the senator said.
He said a preliminary investigation conducted by the committee indicated that some of the companies have not facilitated any project since they received the loans.

He said, “We have also discovered that some of the companies do not have anything on ground since they got the loan.
“The committee would investigate all the observations and work on them and let Nigerians know the true position of things.”

Mr Jarigbe thereafter collected the records of the beneficiaries and the locations of their project sites for proper investigation.
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