By Marcus Ikechukwu
The Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has criticised the Federal Government over what he termed failure in the oil and gas business.
He therefore suggested that full deregulation of the sector would be appropriate for the government so as to get out of the quagmire.
The governor aired his views on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday on the occasion of the seventh edition of KadInvest, an annual event organised by the Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency.
According to the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, nothing has changed with the commercialisation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company in July 2022, adding that NNPC is Nigeria’s biggest problem and should be privatised.
He argued that though the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari is trying his best, the company has failed and has no business being in the sector.
He went memory lane, citing an example of the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited which achieved nothing until the private sector came in and revolutionized the telecoms business.
“I am giving this example so that when I say the government should get out of oil and gas, people should not think it is crazy; it is not. There is no reason why the Nigerian Government should still be in the oil and gas sector. It should just get out, it has failed. By every measure it has failed.
“This year, NNPC has not brought N20,000 to the federation account. We are living on taxes. It is PPTs, royalties, income tax and VAT that is keeping this country going because the NNPC claims that subsidy has taken all the oil revenues. I don’t believe it,” El-Rufai noted.
The governor further argued that the Federal Government should get out of the power sector and privatise it for the country to overcome the hydra-headed and decades-long challenges of the sector.
“So, the government should sell everything in oil and gas sector…The government should get out of everything that is left of electricity, leave it to the private sector, create the environment, the money will come. We did it in the telecoms sector,” he said.
Asked about the commercialisation of the NNPC, he said, “Nothing has changed, they are still taking our money, declaring profit that we don’t see the dividends”.
Elendu Reports recalls that the Federal Government recently effected changes in the nomenclature of the NNPC, registering it with the Corporate Affairs Commission CAC and changing its name to NNPC Limited.