The Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has disagreed with business mogul, Aliko Dangote over a statement he made on a proposed sale of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and other Federation Assets during an interview with a cable Television, the CNBC Africa.
Dangote proposed the sale as a way of augmenting the current revenue shortfall as a result of economic recession.
RMAFC in a press statement made available to LEADERSHIP and signed by the Commission’s Acting Chairman, Shettima Umar Abba Gana said it would be unwise for the federal government to dispose of its crown jewels that generate revenue and keep the Federation Account healthy over the long term.
The Commission also disagreed with the advice given by the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, that Government stands to realize the sum of $10bn from the sale of these Assets.
They are rather of the opinion that the same amount could be borrowed from the IMF and use the revenue from these same Assets to repay the loans over 10 to 20 years after which the federation would still retain the assets and continue to enjoy their regular annual dividend payments.
“It is the considered view of the Commission that Nigeria’s Assets like NLNG and other strategic national resources for that matter should not be sold to meet short-term financial obligation,” it said.
Citing the NEITI 2013 audit and financial report of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, RMAFC disclosed that the sum of $12.9 billion was received by NNPC from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Company over an eight-year period which the Corporation did not remit to the Federation Account. The audit according to the Commission also revealed that Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Company paid the sum of $1.289 billion as dividends in 2013.
The statement recalled that similar government ventures in the past have failed to produce desired effect as exemplified by the sale of some oil Blocks and houses meant for Ministers and members of the National Assembly as part of the Monetization policy as government may be compelled to build houses for Political Office Holder’s because of rising cost, rent and security concerns.
The Commission advised that instead of selling off such vital assets which generate considerable funds for the federation, wealthy Nigerians should be encouraged to set up their own LNG projects.
“Nigeria’s natural gas is regarded as one of the best in the world as it has low hydrogen sulphide (H2S) or carbon dioxide (CO2) impurity levels.” it said.