By Ephraim Oseji
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Chief Sunny Onuesoke has called for the scrapping of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and privatisation of other agencies under it for failing to revive the nation’s four refineries.
According to Onuesoke, NPPC is an agency of government lacking credibility and the capacity to profitably run a business enterprise.
Onuesoke, in a statement issued to Sunday Vanguard, said it is a shame that Nigeria has four refineries under the 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 to him, “Nigeria has four refineries and non is refining crude oil. Government still pays a 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 the NNPC to exist if our refineries are not working.
“The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) recorded loses in the region of N551.46b 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 N197b in 2016. In 2017, data from its financial statements showed N82b in operational losses, while a deficit of N5.46b 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 losses from the group.
He noted that the corporation owes Nigerians an explanation on the reasons behind the serial loses, adding that government needs 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 need to have a conversation on if they want to maintain, scrap or restructure NNPC.