Nigeria: $1 Billion China-Exim Alleged Fraud – Okonjo Fires Back

710 Viewed admin 0 respond
Nigeria: $1 Billion China-Exim Alleged Fraud - Okonjo Fires Back

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been under attack from several quarters since the administration of President Buhari came on board. The latest attack was from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation who revealed to President Buhari that about $600million of the $1billion China-Exim loan was unaccounted for. Okonjo through her Media Advicer has fired back.

The Permanent Secretary Alhaji Mohammed Bashar had stated that of the $1billion facility, only $400million was released by the Ministry of Finance.  A simple calculation will show that $600million was not released. This is the mystery that Okonjo has now come out to clarify.

In a statement released by her Media Adviser Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, Dr Okonjo explained that as a result of the way the loan was structured and the agreement governing it, the funds could not have been diverted since it was paid by the bank straight to the Chinese Contractors once they receive confirmation that the job had been completed. Okonjo therefore explained that her Ministry never handled any of the funds.

She gave a breakdown of the loan:

  • $500 million – on-going expansion of four international airport terminals in Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port-Harcourt.
  • $500 million for the Abuja Light Rail Project
  • $984 million for the Zungeru hydroelectric power project
  • $100 million for the Galaxy Backbone project.

The above breakdown by the minister accounted for the $2.086 billion which the Okonjo said was the amount of loan secured from the China-Exim Bank.

This is an excerpt of the statement:

“I want to state categorically that there is no truth in the reported allegation. Anyone who is interested can cross-check with the China-EximBank or the Chinese Embassy.

It is noteworthy that even though President Buhari, in his reported comments on the allegation, made no reference to Dr. Okonjo-Iweala but rightly stressed the need for due process and transparency in the execution of public projects, a sponsored media campaign has once again been launched by political elements to make the former minister the culprit in a non-existent scandal.

The alleged diversion has no substance for the simple reason that the Kano-Lagos project was not even among the projects presented for funding by the China Exim Bank for several strategic infrastructural projects across the country.

In fact, it was the Lagos-Ibadan rail project, not Lagos-Kano rail project, that was proposed in the original application to the China-EximBank. But in the end, no funds were assigned for the Lagos-Ibadan rail project by the China-EximBank.

It is also important to note that even if the alleged project was on the list of China-EximBank funded projects, diversion of any Chinese funds would have been extremely difficult because the terms of the contract and the processes would simply not have permitted such action.

The procedure is that funds for approved loans remain in the China-EximBank and are released directly to the Chinese firm executing the contract only after the presentation of duly certified proof of work by the responsible ministry, in this case it would have been the Federal Ministry of Transport, based on the agreed milestones.

For the sake of emphasis, the China-EximBank does not disburse money directly to government and, therefore, the issue of diversion does not arise.

This is yet another example of the kind of whispering campaign of calumny, innuendo, misinformation, and outright distortions being perpetrated by certain political elements against Dr. Okonjo-Iweala in a bid to try to damage her reputation.” – End of Statement.


Boko Haram: I Am Alive, Well and In Charge - Abubakar Shekau

Boko Haram: I Am Alive, Well and In Charge – Abubakar Shekau

Nigeria: Stolen Funds Recovery - Buhari Has the Capacity to Do It Says IBB

Nigeria: Stolen Funds Recovery – Buhari Has the Capacity to Do It Says IBB

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of