The Managing Director, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), Mr. Tony Attah, has given details on why the company had been on the part of success since inception to date.
He linked the company’s success to the NLNG Act, the shareholding and governance structure of the company, saying “the NLNG Act provided incentives, assurances and guarantees which significantly encouraged investment in the project”..
This was the key trust of his presentation during a technical session chaired by the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, at the ongoing 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, under the theme, ‘Creating a global Champion from Made in Nigeria: The NLNG story’.
He hinted that within the successful 18 years of major breakthrough which the NLNG represented, certain stakeholders in the country had continued to make failed attempts to undermine the Act.
However, it was not however clear whether this comment was intended for the recent rejected move by the apex government to sale about five per cent of its 49 per cent as one of the quick fix for the economy in recession.
A statement issued by his media aid after the summit noted that experience of the group had clearly shown that countries could not hope to legislate investments into existence without addressing issues relating to incentives, guarantees, and assurances.
According to NLNG boss, “These incentives made it attractive for the international investors and financiers to invest even during a period Nigeria was perceived to be a pariah state. Those investments grew and they resulted in an inspirational Nigerian success story that the company is today, with assets now worth over $13bn.
“The ownership mix, with the Nigerian government, through the National Oil Company owning just 49 per cent, and having international companies owning 51 per cent has brought tremendous benefits. Most importantly, it has allowed significant funding through international banks required for the construction of both the plants and the ships.
“Secondly, such a mix has ensured that the international companies bring to bear on the company, international standards and best practices.
“Thirdly, with a significant shareholding, the government, through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, has been able to drive the national agenda for social and nationalistic causes such as the ‘Nigerianisation’ plan. That plan has directly resulted in a corps of well-trained Nigerian professionals, many of whom have had the opportunity to understudy and eventually succeed expatriates over a period of time.”