By Tunde Oguntola, Abuja
A group, Initiative for Leadership and Economic Watch in Nigeria (ILEWN) has described moves by the National Assembly to amend the enabling act of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) as a typical example of government “shooting itself in the foot while claiming to be walking the path of development.”
Addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, the national coordinator, ILEWN, Amb. Agbokpolor Splendour maintained that over the years foreign investors have been consistently scared away by opaque laws and lack of transparency in governance that manifests in policy somersaults, poor infrastructure and multiple and illogical taxation. Amb. Splendour said that NLNG is one flicker of hope in the oil and gas sector that has been plagued by lack of transparency, opaque accounting methods, corruption and endless scandals.
He said the NLNG unlike other components of the oil and gas sector has continued to attract investments and offers the best selling point for an industry that has become the gold standard of ineptitude in Nigeria.
“NLNG has grown from a one train to a six train operation with a capacity of 22 million tonnes per annum, making it the fourth largest supplier of LNG in the world. Generated earnings of over $90 billion, paid over $30billion as dividends to the federal government and grown it’s asset base to over $11 billion.
“Contributed 4 per cent to Nigeria’s GDP since it commenced operations in 1995 and paid over $5billion in taxes to the federal government as well as over N51billion as regulators levies. “NLNG spent over $200million on the provision of infrastructure in the Bonny kingdom, supported federal government with N60billion for completion of Bonny-Bodo road and committed to spend N3billion for 25years on development of Bonny kingdom. “Extended it’s CSR donations to more Universities in Nigeria than any of the Oil majors in Nigeria, thus contributing to producing high quality local manpower,” he said.
He said from the above enumerated contributions to Nigeria, it is clear that the NLNG has been a responsible corporate citizen contrary to the impression being created by the manner of the amendments by the National Assembly.