Contrary to widespread media reports on the Nigerian senate claim that it had uncovered a $100m loan by Okonjo-Iweala purportedly ‘unapproved’ by former President Goodluck Jonathan, a leaked document has revealed that the $100 million from Eurobond spent on Airport terminals under former President Goodluck Jonathan and former Minister of Finance, Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was not a loan.
Also, the Eurobond balance is $550 million, which faults the $650 million claim in reports.
This is contained in a letter written by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy on February 7, 2014, to update former President Jonathan on the utilization of the proceeds of the US $1billion Eurobonds.
Recall that the Nigerian Senate Committee on Public Accounts had on Thursday alleged the former Finance Minister of the diverting the sum from the balance of Eurobond claimed to be $650 million with the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
However, it is apparent from the letter signed by Okonjo-Iweala that the positions of Senate Committee on the balance of Eurobond and the source of the amount spent on aviation are incorrect.
According to the letter, the $100m spent on the upgrade of the airport terminals in Port Harcourt, Lagos, Kano and Abuja was originally earmarked in the utilization schedule of the total Eurobonds acquired.
Also, while $135.55 million was allotted to Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) received $350 million, and $400million went to Gas to Power Investment.
The document further reveals that the $350 million NBET share is a liquidity facility to be managed as back up for NBET resources in its intermediary role between GENCOS and DISCOS.
Okonjo-Iweala wrote, “We have requested the NSIA (Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund) to manage these resources for NBET to enable it earn some additional income to defray the interest expense with regards to Power to Gas Investment.”
In addition, contrary to the position of the Senate on the balance of Eurobond, Okonjo-Iweala noted in the document that the total of Eurobond in the care of NSIA is only $550 million, being the total of NBET’s $350 million and NNPC’s $200 million for PPP Gas to Power Investment.
She wrote, “The Gas division of the NNPC has indicated to us that they will not be in a position to utilize the available resources as their investments are still being developed. As a result, we have asked the NSIA to manage US$200m for PPP Gas to Power Investments. Please note Your Excellency that this means some good news for NSIA because it puts US$550m additional resources under its management.”
The letter also states that the DMO had been mandated to monitor the utilization of the funds, and ensure that the borrowed resources are paid back by the agency.