El-Rufai knocks NNPC, says FG has failed in oil and gas sector

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Thursday came down heavily on the Federal Government’s involvement in the oil and gas sector of the economy, saying it has failed woefully and should get out of the sector immediately.

El-Rufai, who was speaking at the KADINVEST 2022 with the theme, ‘Building a Resilient Economy’, argued that whichever sector of the economy the government was involved in has never done well.

He said all the sectors performing well like entertainment, telecoms, fintech and others have no government participation in them.

The governor said that if the Federal Government does not sell off the NNPC Limited to private individuals, the firm will ruin Nigeria.

Criticising the national oil company which was commercialised in July 2022, and thus became known as Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, he said nothing has changed and argued that it should be privatised.

El-Rufai said though the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari, is trying his best, the company has failed and government has no business being in the sector.

He stated that “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 are keeping this country going because NNPC claims that subsidy has taken all the oil revenues. I don’t believe it,” El-Rufai argued.

The governor also contended 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, and create the environment, the money will come. We did it in the telecoms sector,” he said.

On the NNPC commercialization, El-Rufai maintained that “Nothing has changed, it’s just a change in name with limited at the end.

“Nothing has changed, they are still taking our money, and declaring profit that we don’t see the dividends.”