Group Backs el-Rufai, Sanusi On Sale, Unbundling NNPC

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By; ISAAC ODEH, Kaduna

Kaduna based Nigerian Forum for Good Governance (NFGG) has thrown its weight behind the positions of the 14th Emir of Kano, Alh. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and Governor of Kaduna State, Mal. Nasir el-Rufai on  scrapping of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Ltd,  following its abysmal performance over the years.

According to the group, the National oil company has become more of burden than an asset for  economic growth and development.

In a statement jointly signed by the Coordinator and Secretary of the Nigerian Forum for Good Governance; Comrade Mukhtar Ahmed Funtua, Coordinator  and Comrade Reuben Joseph Kajang, the group said, selling of NNPC is the  best option to cut off government’s dependence on oil and develop other sectors of the economy.

The group also in the statement titled, “NNPC is A Burden that Must Be Scrapped  and Sold Entirely”, said held that as concerned Nigerians with focus on good governance across all tiers of government and sectors of the economy, it totally agreed with  Sanusi on the position that the national oil has become a ‘”money pit rather than a cash cow”,  considering the fact that the four refineries that were more or less comatose  couldn’t meet up the purpose for which they were established .

“We equally concur with Governor  of Kaduna State, Mal Nasir El-Rufai on his submission that Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has become a burden and  big problem to Nigeria.” It added .

On its  resolve to mobilise Civil Society Organizations across Nigeria to join the conversation to  “Kill NNPC” because, it is no longer a  profit making business for government and had outstayed relevance as a public company, it said ,”We are fully prepared  to support all Nigerians who have raised their voices in either to unbundle, sell or privatized.” 

The statement further reads: “We are saddened that besides massive stealing of our crude oil, NNPC has not been able make profit . It is laughable  that as one of major producers of crude in the world ,we have continued to import refined fuel while export crude oil. It also shameful that for over 40 years , it was unable to declare a Profit After Tax , until recently when it announced concocted a sum of 674 billion for the 2021 financial year.

“We make bold to say that NNPC under the   President Muhammad  Buhari led administration is a leaking basket for its inability to fix any of the four refineries that is apparently  the only unproductive  organisation ,yet  maintained full complimentary workforce on its payroll.

“This for us, is adjudged foolhardy and  detrimental to the economy . Worst still , It is one of the very few public companies discovered that has  refused to be accountable  to even the government that set it up. 

“We reiterate our stand that not only the NNPC that needs to be sold out, all the refineries  should be sold out to individuals for efficiency and  stop the  spending billions of naira on paying salaries of redundant staff and maintaining non-functional refineries 

“It is overt  fraud to complacently settle for importation of  refined petroleum product and paying heavy subsidy and these  must be discontinued before the next administration.”

However, while noting that it acknowledge the idea of  commercialization,it discovered that nothing per se  has changed in the sector since July 2022. Noting that, ” Even with commendable  efforts of  the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, Mal. Mele Kyari’s efforts to transform  the company, it  has  failed.”

According to the group,the federal  government has no reason to still be in the oil and gas sector, especially that  several governments have shown lack of  capacity to revive and refloat it for profit purposes.

” For these reasons ,we  align with several economists who have submitted that Government should as a matter of urgency through transparent bidding that will be handled by the World Bank sell off all its investment in the oil sector and the proceeds of the sale  invested in Human Capital Development and the country’s  sovereign wealth fund. 

“By so doing, we will be able to save the country hundreds of billions of dollars due to the unabated depreciation  in the oil industry and  generate huge revenues that can be invested in preparing Nigeria and Nigerians for a world after Oil.

“Although, there are fears in certain quarters that government will cease to make revenues from oil if it sells the NNPC, It  is not true as government will still continue to make revenues from the oil companies through royalties and petroleum profit tax after these companies are sold.

“What it  will forfeit is production sharing from the Joint Venture companies that would have been sold off. And savings will be made form selling off the loss making arms of NNPC that constitute a huge drain pipe in the coffers of the nation. With the selling of NNPC government can now focus mainly on the generation of taxes to meet it’s financial needs.”

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