PDP chieftain demands scrapping of NNPC, says govt can’t run profitable enterprise

BY AUSTIN OMOS OYIBODE

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has called for the scrapping or restructuring of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other related agencies.

Onuesoke, who made the statement at Muritala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos while on his way to Abuja for climate change conference, advised the federal government to completely dissolve the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and also privatise all the commercial undertakings of the agency.

He said NPPC is a business enterprise and the government does not have that credibility and the capacity to profitably run a business enterprise.

Onuesoke disclosed it is a shame that Nigeria has four refineries controlled by NNPC, but none of them is producing fuel either for internal consumption or exportation for commercial gains wondering why Nigeria government must continue to retain a corporation that is not productive.

According him: “Nigeria has four refineries and none is refining crude oil. Government still pays huge sum on importing finished oil products with huge subsidy. NNPC and its other subsidiaries are responsible for almost 15% of the federal government yearly salaries and wages annually. There is no need for NNPC to exist if our refineries are not working.

“The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) recorded losses in the region of N551.46billion from January 2015 to December 2018. Details of financial records published on the company’s website revealed that the national oil company repeatedly failed to meet projected profits as its subsidiaries, particularly refineries, running cost at the headquarters and other arms left whopping deficits.

“The corporation recorded N267.14b loss in 2015. The figure stood at N197billion in 2016. In 2017, data from its financial statements showed N82billion in operational losses, while a deficit of N5.46billion was posted for January and August in 2018.

“While the company has excluded key details such as taxes and figures from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Ltd, it has continually failed to perform when compared to other national oil companies in Africa and other parts of the world.”

Onuesoke urged the current administration to conduct a proper research and plan an all-inclusive strategy that would address the continuous loses from the group.

He noted that the corporation owes Nigerians an explanation on the reasons behind the serial losses, adding that government needed to take its hands off the business.

“We should make the NNPC a private business and government should remove its hands. There is so much interference in the NNPC by the government and other people are making money from the business. Why is our case different? Government failed with NITEL until it was unbundled. But the private sector came in and made their money,” he argued.

He pointed out that there is a need to scrap or restructure the NNPC, adding that Nigerians needed to have a conversation on it if they want to maintain, scrap or restructure the corporation.

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