The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has commended the house of representatives over its decision to caution the federal government to suspend the proposed sale of its equity interest in the Nigerian LNG Limited (NLNG).
NLNG Ltd. owns the six-train Bonny LNG plant, Rivers state, and the federal government holds 49 percent shares in the company.
Reacting to the call by the house of representatives on the urgent need to stop the sale of the gas company, Fortune Obi, PENGASSAN’s national public relations officer, said this was in tandem with the union’s position on the need for the government to retain its shares’ ownership in the company.
Obi also stated that the NLNG model has been the best option so far and should be replicated in other failed government ventures such as the refineries.
“The NLNG is one of the most successful ventures that Nigeria has embarked upon since its inception,” the union spokesman said, adding that the international community would perceive Nigeria as a country that is inconsistent in policy and will not take its desire for foreign investments seriously.
He noted that the losses that would accrue from the sales of the NLNG far outweighed its gains, saying that rather than selling the asset, there are other options the government may adopt to resuscitate the economy.
The PENGASSAN spokesperson said that about 18,000 jobs in the sector will be affected if the proposed plan is carried out, stating that government should explore other options to fund the economy rather than selling a viable company like NLNG whose dividends were used to kick start and finance the economy when Nigeria was in recession.
“NLNG has bailed out Nigeria when the country was in recession as proceeds from its dividends were used to finance the economy. Those investors who were clamouring for the FG to sell her shares in NLNG should find another means of injecting their resources into the economy instead of buying a successful company,” he said.
The Nigerian government benefited from NLNG gas exports revenues and dividends which hit $15 billion in 2016, according to data released by the company.
Other partners in the company are Shell (25.05%, Agip (10.04%) and Total (15%).