Chamber rejects privatisation of NLNG, supports sale of inefficient assets

NLNG MD Tony Attah

NLNG MD Tony Attah

Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) has rejected plans by the Federal Government to sell the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas company (NLNG) and other national assets.

The chamber, therefore, urged the government to relinquish its interest in under-performing and inefficient assets to generate needed revenue to run the economy.

President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Emi Membere-Otaji made this declaration during the monthly PHCCIMA member’s general forum held in Port Harcourt.

According to him, selling government assets is not totally different from the privatisation programme, which started during President Obasanjo’s tenure.

He, however, observed that the proposed sale of NLNG is generating so much reaction because the company in question is not only viable but enormously adding value to the economy of the country.

While reflecting on the statement credited to former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Charles Soludo, the PHCCIMA helmsman posited that moribund and inefficient government firms need to be privatised in a transparent manner.

He stressed the need for proper management of the revenue generated from the sale.

Membere-Otaji advised the government to invoke the terms and condition for non- performing assets previously privatised.

“If these national assets lying fallow are totally or partially sold and effectively managed well by privately run companies, they will generate strings of employment and boost the economy through value chains like we experienced with the former Eleme petrochemical Ltd that seamlessly graduated to the high resource base we have now as Indorama Petrochemical and Fertilizer Company.”

“NLNG as a cash cow should be left off the hook while the likes of the refineries, our moribund steel assets, and expired oil block licenses among others should be the focus if the federal government hopes to raise needed funds.

Speaking on recession in the country, the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce President, attributed the present economic recession to the multitude of negative actions and inactions on the part of past and present governments.

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