- Says Govt Should Get Out Of Company, Oil Sector
Despite a change in its nomenclature, nothing has changed in terms of value addition and transparency since the Federal Government commercialised the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), transforming it to a private company, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has said.
Governor El-Rufai explained that government’s continous involvement in the oil and gas business has contributed to the failure seen in the sector, urging it to get out of the energy sector and completely leave it in private hands to run.
This much was said by El-Rufai on Thursday while speaking at KADINVEST, an annual event organised by the Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency.
The New Diplomat reports the passage of Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) culminated in the creation of NNPCL, with its new logo and name unveiled in July 2022.
While unveiling the new NNPC, President Muhammadu Buhari had expressed optimism that the NNPC Limited will sustainably deliver value to its over 200 million shareholders and the global energy community; operate without relying on government funding and free from institutional regulations such as the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
But while speaking on the theme of this year’s KADINVEST, ‘Building a Resilient Economy’, Governor El-Rufai argued that nothing has changed with the commercialisation of the NNPCL in July 2022 per say, insisting whatever the government manages turns out bad.
He said sectors doing well in the country like entertainment, telecoms, fintech and others have no government involvement.
He said the company has failed and has no business being in the sector.
He said: “There is no reason why the Nigerian Government should still be in the oil and gas sector. It should just get out, it has failed. By every measure it has failed.
“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.
“The government should get out of whatever is left of electricity. Leave it to the private sector. Maintain the environment. The money will come. 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.”