23 January 2013, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, PHCCIMA, says the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has no constitutional right to negotiate loan on behalf of the Federal Government.
Mr Emeka Unachukwu, President of the chamber, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
He said it was illegal for the corporation to tender oil, which belonged to the three arms of government, as collateral for loan without the consent of the National Assembly.
He said: “A critical look at that transaction shows that there were a lot of flaws and due process was not followed. I saw when high network people in the country like Oby Ezekwesili reacting and most people who reacted to the loan didn’t support it.
“And from the private sector point of view, we also picked holes in the proposal, first of all, how did this loan come about? How did NNPC accumulate this loan, they claimed it was from purchase of refined products, we know that marketers pay for this product up front and probably get some kind of guarantee from banks before these products are supplied.
“Now, under our law, do they have the right to negotiate such loan facility without the approval of the National Assembly? That’s number two. Then number three, we are looking at the collateral; what right do they have to mortgage the income of the three tiers of government?“
Unachukwu, however, commended the National Assembly for calling the corporation to order, adding that it saved the nation an embarrassment.