At his wits end over how to raise money and keep the Nigerian economy from collapsing completely, President Muhammadu Buhari is about concluding plans to sell off prized national assets to investors form the Middle East.
Nigerian Times learnt from a highly placed source in the Presidency that the government has been in talks with businessmen form Dubai and Qatar over the sale of its entire 49 percent stake in the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas Limited.
The deal, this paper learnt, is being brokered by an influential governor from the northern part of the country. Discussions have been on for some time now but our source said the deal would have been wrapped up by now but for the insistence by the businessmen that the Nigerian government provide cast-iron guarantee that their investment would be safe given the restiveness in the Niger Delta region where the assets are based.
“The bombing of oil facilities by the Avengers is a sticking point. The investors do not want to spend billions acquiring the company only to have it go up in flames. They are asking the president to provide assurance that
facilities belonging to the company will continue to be protected by government after they have sealed the deal,” our source said.
President Buhari is said to have given then his word that their investments would be well secured by security agencies, informing them that his government is also exploring a peaceful resolution of the Niger Delta problem.
Aside the NLNG, this paper learnt, President Buhari is also considering divesting 10 per of its stake in the Joint Venture Companies as a way of raising money.
The NLNG was incorporated as a limited liability company on May 17, 1989 to harness Nigeria’s vast natural gas resources and produce Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) for export.
The establishment of NLNG is backed by the NLNG Act.
The company is owned by four shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49%); Shell (25.6%); Total LNG Nigeria Ltd (15%) and Eni (10.4%).
It has wholly–owned subsidiaries: Bonny Gas Transport (BGT) Limited and NLNG Ship Management Limited (NSML).
With six trains currently operational, NLNG’s plant, on Bonny Island in Rivers State, is capable of producing 22 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) of LNG, and 5 MTPA of NGLs (LPG and Condensate) from 3.5 Billion (standard) cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas intake. NLNG’s near term expansion plans include construction of a seventh train to complement the existing six train structure, which when in operation will up the company’s total production capacity to 30 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG.
As the arrowhead of Nigeria’s efforts to eliminate gas flaring, NLNG’s operations have helped reduced Nigeria’s Flaring Profile from 65% to below 25%. The company also supplies about 80% of the annual domestic LPG (Cooking Gas) consumption.