23 February 2018

Nigeria: Senate Uncovers 'Unapproved' U.S.$100 Million Loan

Photo: The Guardian

Abuja — The Senate committee on Public Account yesterday announced the uncovering of $100 million allegedly spent on four airport terminals.The former Minister of Finance and Coordinator of the economy, Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, was claimed to have obtained the loan.

According to the committee, the credit was expended without the approval of former President Goodluck Jonathan.The airport terminals are those in Port Harcourt, Lagos, Kano and Abuja.This revelation followed an investigative hearing organised by the committee to ascertain the $650 million balance of Eurobond with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

Also included is that of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), with Debt Management Office (DMO) and the Aviation Ministry in Abuja.The Chairman of the committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, representing Edo South, affirmed that the then minster and the DMO boss, acted without due process.He alleged that they: "made payments to chains of company and the letter on page 12 signed by one Haruna Mohammed only indicated that, the ministry had written to the president informing him on how the money would be spent.

"What the minister considered to be an approval was not so. The letter that was submitted was for the issue of meter and based even on the $100 million."Urhoghide added that the committee discovered that the former president only noted the letter, which the ministry took to be an approval from him.He said the minister never asked the former president for an approval, but the DMO boss acted on the letter as directed.

In her reaction, the DMO Director General, Patience Oniha said: "Some high level discussions took place that made the ministry to take the decision.She added that Okonjo-Iweala knew about the letter by Mohammed.


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