By Udeme Akpan
LAGOS—The Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company, NLNG, Limited, has taken its battle against amendment of NLNG Act by the House of Representatives to the Senate.
The essence of the interface with the Senate is to get the House of Representatives to reverse the amendment.
The move, which is supported by the shareholders of the company, such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC; Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited, Total Exploration and Producing Company and Agip, is based on the need to remove huddles capable of hindering the implementation of the nation’s $25 billion trains seven and eight project.
General Manager, External Relations Division of NLNG Limited, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke, indicated in a telephone interview, yesterday, that the management of the company has concluded plans to meet the senators this week.
He said the company had also scheduled to meet with relevant persons and institutions in the executive arm of government to let them understand why the present amendment should be stopped.
He said: “We have lined up series of events to engage with the senators because they have a lot to do with this Act. We will also meet with many key persons in President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to let them know the issues and implications.
“We are not going to stop there, plans have also been concluded to keep the general public well-informed because the current development may be partly based on inadequate knowledge.“
Investigations showed that the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (a subsidiary of NNPC), Shell, Total and Agip would continue to work on the $25 billion Liquefied Natural Gas trains seven and eight project, despite the recent amendment of the NLNG Act.
The development was expected to discourage further work on the flagship project targeted at increasing the nation’s export from 22 million tonnes to 30 million tonnes annually.”
But a source at NAPIMS who preferred not to be named, said over the weekend that the ongoing engagement with stakeholders would not be affected.
He disclosed that the representatives of NAPIMs, Shell, Total and Agip would continue their meetings in Lagos in order to pave the way for the taking of final investment (FID) decision on the project.
According to him, “The amendment by the House of Representatives is just one single process. The Senate has not yet taken a decision on this. So, it would be hasty for us to stop work.”
“As generally observed by many stakeholders, the amendment is a mistake which can be corrected as we move from one stage to another. In other words, we are optimistic that the legislators would backpedal on this issue.”
“It is in the best interest of the nation for them to do so. But if they eventually insist on amending the NLNG Act, we have no option than to stop our meetings, meaning the FID will not be taken,” he added.
He said that the ongoing engagement had been fruitful, especially as shareholders had been tasked to dedicate gas supply schemes to the project.
The NLNG Limited had disclosed that the House of Representatives on May 9, 2017, passed a bill seeking to amend the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) Act (Fiscal, Guarantees, Assurances, and Incentives) subjecting the company to 3per cent Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) levy.
“NLNG is proudly the country’s biggest and most successful indigenous company, run by 100% Nigerian Management and over 95% Nigerian staff, yet competing effectively globally. It is today the country’s highest tax payer and the 4th largest supplier of LNG in the whole world.
‘’NLNG is a pride to Nigeria and the nation’s flagship corporation whose model is being considered for replication in various sectors of the economy.
“But the fact that the company is being targeted by this amendment while fellow gas purchasers and processors in other businesses such as fertilizer, petrochemical, and electricity are left untouched, gives the world the impression that Nigeria would rather drag down than support its best.
“Any amendment will also mean an immediate potential loss of foreign investment of US$25 billion in respect of Trains7 and 8 investments (US$15 billion by the gas producing and