Home Column Storm over NLNG dividends, Nigerian politicians are shameless

Storm over NLNG dividends, Nigerian politicians are shameless

by Business News Report

The recent controversy over the dividend paid by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company NLNG, portrayed Nigerian politicians as nymphets who do not fit well into civilized political culture. In the wake of the controversy each side of the divide PDP and APC sort to out do the other by claiming holier than thou. In a cultured and disciplined society, Nigerians should have seen beyond these aleck who parade themselves as political leaders. The first question that should bother any right thinking person is who was the money paid to? It was paid to the federation account. Whether it was PDP or APC it makes no difference. In society where transparency and accountability is the rule,
Corporate bodies publish their account for the public and investor to have access to information about them. This is not the case in Nigeria. NNPC, NIMASA, NPA and the rest have never made their account public. Governments in the federal have never publish their full account. This is so because those in position of power have so much to hide. It is the avenue from where they loot the country.
In a country where there is transparency in the conduct of government business, the issue of who paid what into the federation account would not have disturbed the Nigerian air wave. Here we are, haggling over dividend paid into the federation account by one company. If the Nigerian shameless political class were serious they should be asking how many of NLNG are in Nigeria to bail the country out of its present dependence on oil. In the case of the PDP stalwarts, how many new NLNG did they in their sixteen years of governance added to the Nigeria economic space? How many ailing industries in the country did PDP revive to contribute to the in the last sixteen years? What new initiative PDP set in motion to restructure the Nigeria economy?
It is funny that APC that is currently sleep walking has the courage to join in the fray of what was paid. The tactless politicians in APC deceived Nigerians with its mantra of change. In the first instance they have not been able to change themselves talk less of changing any body. The sleep walking members of APC, were involve is masturbation
Believing that dividend could accrue to a shareholder in one month. APC has been in government for 40 days and would want Nigerians to believe that it received dividend from NLNG in one month.

Gullible Nigerians bought the bait of these few Nigerians who on daily basis pillage and cart away our resources and seek diversionary way to cover their misdeed. What Nigerians should be asking these shameless men of yesterday who cling to power is what new thing do they intend to bring to the sharing table since all we do is sharing. Imagine if Ajaokuta Steel rolling mill was working and making profit. It would have earned Nigeria more dividends; yet, this political class is not interested in seeing it work. What about Delta Steel rolling mill? What of Jos, Oshogbo machine tools, the Aluminum Smelting Company? What has become of them? There carcasses litter the whole place. Apart from these, Nigeria had Volkswagen plant, Peugeot, Leyland, and many others to name a few. If these companies were nurtured to the stage NLNG is today, Nigeria could have been earning close to $50 billion in taxes. Here are Nigerian politicians and policymakers haggling over $2.1 billion.
Notwithstanding the figures being doled out from Nigerian confused politicians the Federal Government earned about $17.6billion from the Nigerian LNG Limited, NLNG as dividend and tax since the inception of the project.
The brake down showed that government earned about $14.7billion as dividend, being its 49 per cent stake of the $30billion paid by the liquefied natural gas company over the last 15 years. The balance of $2.9billion represents tax payments between 2013 and 2014, that is, $1.6billion in 2014, and $1.3billion in 2013. But PDP and APC, has sent out conflicting figures regarding the actual revenues the Federal Government, through its representative, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, may have earned from its 49 per cent equity investment in the NLNG over the past 15 years of the NLNG operations. The ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, and the opposition, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, have engaged in a war of words over who paid what and where the sum went to.
NLNG confirmations
Releasing its Fact and Figures on NLNG 2015, the Managing Director/Chief Executive, NLNG, Mr. Babs Omotowa, said in Lagos that the company had paid $30 billion in dividends to its shareholders over the years, including the government, which owns a 49-per-cent stake through the NNPC. He also added: “Just a few days ago, we paid $1.6 billion to the government as tax and this will go a long way to assist the new government in solving some of its problems.” he said. Omotowa explained that the dividend and tax were derived from the export of natural gas worth about $85 billion since its inception.
He said: “For us, it has been a success story. Between 1999 when we came on stream and now, we have realised some $85 billion from exports of liquefied natural gas to buyers in Europe, America and Asia.” Regarding its contribution to the Nigerian economy, the NLNG in its Facts and Figures also said: Payment to Joint Venture (JV) feedgas suppliers from inception till date is almost $21billion; 55-60- per cent of this amount goes to the Federal Government via its shareholding in the NNPC.”
Managing Director of NNPC should meet on the issue of NLNG dividends and report back to the IMTT. Unfortunately, that meeting has not held.” Omotowa said plans were afoot to expand the NLNG plant in Finima on Bonny Island, in the oil and gas-rich southern Rivers state, by 2017. With six trains (production units) currently operational, plans for building Train 7 that will lift the total production capacity to 30 million metric tons per annum of LNG are currently progressing,” he said. He said Train 7 would cost an estimated 12 billion dollars, create 18,000 construction jobs and bring in an additional three billion dollars in exports when operational.
The question is what was the level of attention the federal government paid to the NLNG? What was the level of cooperation it received from government agent? Why has the train 7 not taken off if the government were so keen on growing the nation revenue? After the clarification of the payment made by NLNG by its Chief Executive officer, I am ashamed of Nigerian politician, I think every Nigeria does. Nigerian politicians have no shame though.

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