The Federal Government has announced that the country will rake in fresh Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the tune of N1.89trillion ($12billion) within the next four years through the planned Train seven of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas project.
The project is also expected to generate additional $3billion revenue for the federal government annually and create about 13,000 new jobs.
These figures were presented to the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, by the company’s Managing Director, Mr. Babs Omotowa, during the minister’s one-day facility tour of the NLNG plant in Bonny Island, Rivers State.
The minister also inaugurated the multi-million Naira state-of-the art Finima Women Bakery built and donated to the community by the NLNG, as part of its corporate social responsibility.
“We are expecting Foreign Direct Investment of $12billion from our proposed Train seven plant, which we hope will be completed within the next four years. The project is expected to create 13,000 new jobs and generate $3billion revenue annually for the government,” the NLNG managing director said.
NLNG Limited is jointly owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49 per cent); Shell (26.6 per cent); Total LNG Nigeria Limited (15 per cent) and Eni (10.4 per cent).
Aganga described the NLNG project as a major success story for Nigeria, stressing that the Ministry of Trade and Investment was committed to providing the enabling environment to encourage the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment into the country.
He said, “NLNG is one of the biggest success stories in our country. From what the Managing Director told me, the company has invested $13billion so far since inception and has become a pace-setter in terms of revenue generation for the government, profitability, dividend payment to shareholders, job creation and adherence to international best practices in its operations.
“The purpose of my visit today is to assess the key areas that we want to diversify and increase our export base. Also, we are looking for gas to help us develop the petro-chemical sector of the economy, which is critical because we cannot have a strong and virile industrial sector without a strong petrochemical sector which will support the growth and development of the automobile, textile, plastic, chemical and pharmaceutical industries.”
The minister also said that his ministry, through its One Local Government One Product initiative, would partner women in rural communities in Bonny Island as part of the ministry’s Micro, Small Medium Enterprises Development strategy.
Speaking during the visit, Omotowa said the NLNG had continued to record impressive performance over the years, adding that the management had concluded plans to expand its operations owing to the country’s huge gas potentials.
He said, “NLNG Limited has been doing very well. From 1989 till date, we have earned over $50billion, which means that if we had started about 30 years earlier as it was initially conceived, we should have earned additional $130million.
"But since we have been in operation, we have been able to pay back $22billion to the shareholders of which the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation owns 49 per cent. This year, we should earn a revenue of between $11 -$12billion and we will pay shareholders between $5 to $6billion."
He added, “As part of the Federal Government’s incentive to the NLNG, we were given tax holiday but by next year, we will start paying company income tax and we are projecting that about $1billion tax will be paid to the government. In terms of cargo, we believe that before the end of this year, we will have close to 400 cargoes of liquefied natural gas leaving our jetty here in Nigeria for export.
"This means that our plant is doing very well. In terms of community relations, we have provided 24 hour electricity for our host community and we currently working to provide pipe borne water for the entire community before the end of this year.”