Nigeria May Lose Status as 4th World’s Largest LNG Exporter

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Babs Omotowa
  • NLNG earns $90bn revenue since 1999

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The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria LNG Limited, Mr. Babs Omotowa, has raised the alarm on Nigeria’s dwindling investments in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), saying that with no new investments, the country would possibly drop from her current position of 4th world’s largest exporter of LNG to 10th position by 2020.

Speaking at the April Lunch organised by the Petroleum Club in Lagos recently, Omotowa, who said NLNG had earned $90 billion revenue since 1999, also declared that NLNG elevated Nigeria to number four exporter of LNG in the world, after Qatar, Malaysia and Australia.

Citing the data on the global exports of LNG in 2014, Omotowa said Nigeria was ahead of other world LNG giants, including Indonesia, Trinidad, Algeria, Russia, Oman, Yemen, Brunei, UAE, Peru, Equatorial Guinea, Norway, Papua New Guinea, US, Egypt and Angola.

Omotowa, however said with no new investments to support Nigeria’s position in the global LNG market, the country’s position would possibly drop to 10th by 2020.

He said while his company earned $90 billion revenue since 1999, $33 billion was paid to the federal government as dividend, $6 billion as taxes and $21 billion for joint venture gas purchase.

The NLNG boss noted that his company’s contribution as Company Income Tax and dividend in 2014 and 2015 constituted 14 per cent of the country’s annual budget.

According to him, NLNG, which has a global reputation for reliability has also shipped 3,500 cargoes in 15 years.

Omotowa, who described his company as a leader in social responsibility space, said the company retired six old vessels in 2015.

He added that six new vessels had been ordered with five already delivered, stressing that stability, financial capacity, independence, governance structure, and market –driven were the company’s critical success factors.

Omotowa identified the blockade by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as one of the greatest challenges that faced his company and revealed that NLNG lost $1 billion with 70 per cent of the loss due to the federal government.

According to him, NIMASA was claiming $160 million levy, while the NLNG Act – Sections 6 (8-10) and Sections 7 (7) provide exceptions to attract investments.

He alleged that NIMASA ignored court orders, thus causing reputational damage to both Nigeria and the NLNG.

He said, NLNG is currently making monthly payments ‘under protest’ pending the resolution of the dispute by the court, stressing that $250 million has been paid to NIMASA till date.