Nothing has changed in NNPC other than adding ‘L’ for Limited – El-Rufai

DESPITE the partial privatisation that transformed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai says nothing has changed in the institution.

El-Rufai, who stated this at an economic summit in Kaduna on Thursday, described the NNPCL as a problem that can consume Nigeria.

He lamented that the company, which was partly privatised in July this year, was not adding any financial value to the country.

The governor called on the Federal Government to privatise the oil and gas sector, arguing that the government has failed in its effective management.

“Any sector that the Federal Government tries to get into gets messed up. Any area that the government can get out of, it should,” he said.

“When I say the government should get out of oil and gas, people shouldn’t think it’s crazy, it’s not. There is no reason the government of Nigeria should be in the oil and gas sector. It has failed by every measure, they should just get out.

“This year NNPC hasn’t brought N20,000 to the Federation account. We are living on taxes. It is PPT, royalties and income tax that is keeping this country going.

“Because NNPC claims that subsidy has taken all the oil revenues, I don’t believe that. So, the government should sell everything — the oil and gas sector. I have been making this point since 1999 when I was head of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE). I have not changed my mind.

“Nothing has changed for NNPC other than adding L to it for the Limited. They are still taking our money. They are still declaring profits that we don’t see the dividends.

“NNPC is a big problem to Nigeria and unless we resolve it, it will bring Nigeria to its knees. It’s a systemic and institutional problem, it’s beyond one person.”

According to El Rufai, the Federal Government should totally desist from managing critical aspects of the nation’s economy, such as electricity, and leave them to the private sector to manage.

The NNPCL, which was the biggest revenue contributor to the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), has not contributed a dime to it since January, citing deductions for fuel subsidy payments.

The company’s zero revenue position has continued to unsettle the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).

The Forum’ immediate past chairman and Ekiti State governor Kayode Fayemi had frowned at the development.

Speaking at the fifth Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES), in March, an infuriated Fayemi lambasted the company for failing to contribute to the nation’s purse.






     

     

    Although the price of crude oil has seen some appreciation due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, Fayemi lamented that “the more it goes up, it seems like the more we suffer”.

    He noted that it was ironic that the NNPC was declaring profit and unable to meet its obligations to the FAAC. According to him, the governors were concerned about how to grow the oil and gas industry, stressing that transparency, accountability and governance were critical in achieving the objective.

    Noting that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) was addressing some of the challenges facing the sector, Fayemi said the governors had raised concerns regarding some of the provisions of the law.

    Specifically, he faulted the placement of the oil and gas sector under the exclusive legislative list of the Federal Government.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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