The Managing Director, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, Tony Attah, has linked the company’s success to the NLNG Act and the shareholding and governance structure of the company.
Attah was quoted in a statement issued on Wednesday after he spoke 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 said that the NLNG Act provided incentives, assurances and guarantees which significantly encouraged investment in the project.
He added that experience had clearly shown that countries could not hope to legislate investments into existence without addressing issues relating to incentives, guarantees, and assurances.
Attah said, “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.”
He noted that 18 years after the major breakthrough which the NLNG represented, certain stakeholders in the country had continued to make attempts to undermine the Act.
He added that the courts had been firm on the provisions of the Act in instances where court cases were instituted by third parties to compel the company to pay levies.