LNG price lowest in seven years
By Ejiofor Alike
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG), Mr. Tony Attah, has stated that the company has paid $5.5billion as taxes since the 10 years tax holidays granted by the NLNG Act for Company Income Tax expired.
This is coming as the price of liquefied gas in 2016 was the lowest in seven years with the company generating $4.723 billion in 2016, against the all-time peak of $11.592 billion generated in 2012.
Presenting the company’s Facts and Figures contained in NLNG 2017 publication, a compendium of the NLNG business in Lagos recently in the presence of the company’s Deputy Managing Director, Sadeeq Mai-Bornu; General Manager, External Relations, Kudo Eresia-Eke and Finance General Manager, Solomon Folaranmi, the CEO said the company paid $5.5 billion in taxes during the period, while cumulative revenues since inception was $90 billion.
Attah said the company also generated $13 billion for the federal government through feedgas purchases and $15 billion in dividends, adding that while monetising the country’s gas resources, the company contributed to reducing gas flaring from 65 per cent to less than 20 per cent.
“In addition, NLNG has contributed significantly to the domestic LPG industry, supplying some 40 per cent of cooking gas to Nigerian homes and businesses. This intervention continues as part of strategies and initiatives aimed at deepening the availability and usage of cooking gas in the country. In the Niger Delta, NLNG committed more than $200 million to corporate social responsibility projects in the Niger Delta especially in the areas of capacity building and infrastructure development. We are also ready to commit some N60 billion to see the Bonny-Bodo road come into reality and commit N3 billion annually for the next 25 years to transform Bonny into a Dubai of sorts. All these are achieved with a management staff entirely made up of Nigerians and a workforce which is 95 per cent indigenous. But all of these achievements are in jeopardy with the proposed amendment by the House,” he explained.
“If the amendment is passed, the NLNG expansion project will be jeopardised and Nigeria will lose investments of $1-3 billion annually in the Upstream to enable NLNG maintain current production capacity and gas developments. It means an immediate loss of foreign investment totalling $25 billion in respect of Train 7 and 8 investments. Another impact will be the potential loss of about 18,000 jobs required for the construction activities of the Trains. An amendment or change in the NLNG Act portrays Nigeria as a promise-breaker and untrustworthy, damaging the country’s reputation and hamstringing its ability to attract foreign investment,” he added.
Citing the Qatari example, Attah said: “Qatar started to ship LNG in 1997, two years before Nigeria. But you have to be awed by what the country has achieved since then. Today, oil and gas, and principally LNG is the foundation of Qatar’s economy; and account for more than 70 per cent of total government revenue, and more than 60 per cent of GDP, as well as roughly 85 per cent of export earnings. Qatar has LNG capacity of about 77MTPA, and generates revenues of about $91 billion per year. Gas was the catalyst for transformation of a small emirate to a global economic powerhouse. This will give you a feeling of what can happen when you focus on gas.”