The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, has secured a $3bn emergency loan facilitated by the African Export-Import Bank Afreximbank, to support the naira and stabilize the foreign exchange market.
In a statement released by the national oil company on Wednesday, 16th August 2023, the agreement was signed by NNPC’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kolo Kyari, with Afreximbank’s Executive Vice President, George Elimbi at the bank’s Headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.
According to reports, this move is part of the Federal Government’s efforts to ease the burden on the local currency, which had plummeted significantly against the dollar in the last couple of weeks.
The naira depreciated to Its record lowest on Friday, 11th August 2023, closing the week at ₦950 to the dollar at the parallel market, leading to speculations that the fuel pump price would be increased.
This development prompted a meeting on Monday, 14th August 2023, between President Tinubu and the acting Central Bank Governor, Folashodun Sonubi, who announced that the apex would roll out plans to arrest the downward slide of the local currency.
This crude for cash loan will provide the NNPCL with the resources needed to import refined fuel into the country without putting pressure on the nation’s reserve, and in turn, will help to stabilize the fuel pump price.
Story: Hilda Katu