The Nigerian Senate has issued a threat to involve the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the recovery process of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) intervention loan of N135 billion granted to 15 oil and gas companies. The Senate Committee on Gas Resources made this warning during a session where the oil and gas firms were summoned to explain the utilization of the loan disbursed under the Nigeria Gas Expansion Program intervention fund. The companies received varying amounts, and the committee expressed concerns about inconsistencies and deviations from guidelines in the loan utilization process.
- Intervention Loan Details:
- The Central Bank of Nigeria provided an intervention loan of N135 billion to 15 oil and gas companies under the Nigeria Gas Expansion Program.
- The loan aimed to support the companies in their contributions to the gas expansion initiative.
- Companies and Loan Allocations:
- Several oil and gas companies, including Nipco Gas Ltd, Nipco Plc, Hyde Energy Ltd, Lee Engineering And Construction Company, and others, received varying amounts from the gas expansion intervention fund.
- Committee’s Concerns:
- The Senate Committee on Gas Resources expressed concerns about inconsistencies and deviations from guidelines in the utilization of the intervention loan.
- Observations indicated that some companies did not follow the guidelines and standard procedures before obtaining the loan.
- Threat of EFCC Involvement:
- The Committee Chairman, while addressing the companies, stated that the Senate might involve the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to recover the funds.
- The threat is issued due to suspicions that some companies did not utilize the funds for the intended purpose, and the committee intends to ensure proper investigation and recovery if necessary.
- Inconsistencies and Lack of Projects:
- Preliminary investigations revealed inconsistencies and deviations from guidelines by some beneficiaries.
- Some companies allegedly did not facilitate any projects on the ground despite receiving the loans.
- Committee’s Responsibilities:
- The committee emphasized its responsibility to ensure that companies expended the funds on the designated purpose.
- Records of beneficiaries and the locations of their project sites were collected for thorough investigations.
Conclusion: The Nigerian Senate’s threat to involve the EFCC underscores the seriousness with which it views potential mismanagement or misutilization of the N135 billion CBN intervention loan by oil and gas companies. The committee’s focus on adherence to guidelines and standard procedures reflects a commitment to transparency and accountability in the utilization of public funds. The outcome of the investigations will provide clarity on whether the funds were utilized judiciously for the gas expansion initiative or if recovery actions are warranted.