Senior oil workers under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have opposed the proposed plan by the House of Representatives to amend the Nigeria Liguefied Natural Gas (NLNG) (Fiscal Incentives, Guarantees and Assurances) Act, describing the proposed amendment as unnecessary.
PENGASSAN stated this during its recent National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja, stressing that “the amendment can cause imminent losses that will far outweigh any doubtful gains.”
In a statement titled: ‘Proposed Amendment of the NLNG Act: Economic and Security Implications for the Nation,’ and signed by PENGASSAN President, Francis Johnson, and acting General Secretary, Lumumba Okugbawa, the union said amendment would impact negatively on the image of Nigeria.
PENGASSAN argued that the international community would perceive Nigeria as a country which does not honour its promises as well as one which does not take its call for foreign investments, led by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, seriously.
The proposed amendment, it said, could directly affect some $25 billion worth of foreign investments as well as another 18,000 Nigerian jobs linked to NLNG’s Train 7 and 8 expansion programmes, adding that this will negate the job creation and job security policy being propagated by the current administration.
The senior staff trade union added that the National Assembly’s proposed action would also not only affect recent gains made in the area of gas flaring in Nigeria, which has reduced from 65 per cent to less than 20 per cent, but lead to the loss of up to $124 million annually payable as taxes and dividends to thefederal government.
According to the union’s statement, ‘NLNG is a Made-in-Nigeria company competing globally and has been a huge success so far. It is currently the fourth largest supplier of LNG in the world. NLNG is a pride to Nigeria and the country’s flagship company, with the model being considered for replication in various sectors of the economy.’
“The proposed amendment of the NLNG Act is not in the interest of Nigeria and it is absolutely necessary that the Act is not amended as the imminent losses will far outweigh any doubtful gains; this is completely against what the country requires at this time and should not be allowed,” said the union.
The union noted that it is essential that Nigeria as a country must be able to generate adequate confidence within the international investor community to sustain critical ongoing and future investment beginning with the stalled Brass and OK LNG projects.
“Our legislators should make laws that will improve existing businesses in the country and also attract new investments, and not laws which will stifle business, employment and/or erode investor confidence. The interest of the Nigerian people must remain paramount,” PENGASSAN added.
PENGASSAN also assured all stakeholders, including the Nigerian populace, that it stands ready to do all within its power to hold those in positions of power accountable to their pledge to uphold good governance and act in the interest of Nigeria at all times.