An amendment to the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) (Fiscal Incentives, Guarantees and Assurances) Act without following the laid down process stipulated in the Act for any amendment would be contrary to the Rule of Law. This is the reaction of the General Manager, External Relations at NLNG, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke.
Dr Eresia-Eke was responding yesterday in Abuja, to the sponsor of the NLNG Act Amendmentand member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Leo Ogor, during a live television programme, Focus Nigeria, on African Independent Television (AIT).
Honourable Ogor had earlier stated that the Guarantees and Assurances in the Act were not tampered with adding, that the only amendment contained in the Bill as passed by the House of Representatives was to include the payment of 3% levy to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) levy to make the Act compliant with the NDDC Act.
In reaction to the statement by Honourable Ogor, who incidentally is the Sponsor of the Bill, Dr Eresia-Eke expressed surprise that the amendment as passed by the House explicitly inserted the 3% NDDC levy, and deleted the Guarantees and Assurances contained in Paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 6 of the 2nd Schedule of Act, while Hon. Ogor alleged on the programme that there were no Guarantees and Assurances deleted.
He remarked that this unilateral amendment would easily result in the loss of Train 7/8, and further jeopardise similar projects requiring investor confidence such as Brass LNG and OK LNG.
Dr Eresia-Eke reiterated that with a rating of 169th out of 190 on the Global Ease of Doing Business Index, Nigeria would further weaken its position to attract foreign investments by worsening the already bad situation through an amendment of the NLNG Act outside of due process.
Notably adding his voice to the debate during the AIT programme, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali Umar Na’Abba, remarked that it would be ‘dishonourable’ for the House to amend the NLNG Act without first duly consulting the shareholders, including the Federal Government to the table for discussions, as stipulated in the Act.