NLNG pays $7bn tax, $15bn div­i­dend to FG

The Punch - - FRONT PAGE - Okechukwu Nn­odim, Abuja

THe Nige­ria LNG Lim­ited says it has paid over $7bn as taxes and is­sued more than $15bn as div­i­dend to the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment since it started op­er­a­tions.

NLNG’S Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Tony At­tah, who dis­closed this re­cently in Abuja, also stated that the com­pany had the tar­get of ex­pand­ing its LNG pro­duc­tion trains from six to 12.

NLNG is an in­cor­po­rated joint ven­ture owned by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment, rep­re­sented by Nige­rian Na­tional Petroleum

Cor­po­ra­tion (49 per cent); Shell Gas B.V. (25.6 per cent); To­tal Gaz elec­tricite Hold­ings France (15 per cent); and eni In­ter­na­tional N.A. N.V. S.àr.l (10.4 per cent).

At­tah said, “To­day, we have paid more than $7bn in taxes since we be­came tax­pay­ers. We have is­sued more than $15bn in div­i­dends to gov­ern­ment through the share­hold­ings by the NNPC, which is 49 per cent, and all the other share­hold­ers, Shell, To­tal, eni, com­fort­ably en­joy div­i­dends on an an­nual ba­sis.”

The gas firm has been in­cor­po­rated for 30 years and has been in op­er­a­tion for 20 years since ex­port­ing its first LNG cargo in 1999.

At­tah, who spoke at a cer­e­mony where joint ven­ture part­ners in the com­pany took the Fi­nal In­vest­ment De­ci­sion for NLNG Train-7, noted that the gas firm would ex­pand its LNG trains to 12.

He said, “There are many hur­dles which Train-7 has un­blocked, and that is what I mean when I say his­tory is about to re­peat it­self. The orig­i­nal am­bi­tion for NLNG as a com­pany was just Trains-1 and 2, but on the back of Trains-1 and 2 FID, which per­haps took so long, it took 30 years ac­tu­ally, to get to those two trains; but once their FID was taken, we went to Trains-3, 4, 5, 6.

“I be­lieve that his­tory is re­peat­ing it­self to­day and it is worth cel­e­brat­ing that Train-7 has un­blocked many hur­dles. Train-7 is the gate-opener and I be­lieve that we would go to Trains-8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.”

He added, “Lots of fab­ri­ca­tion yards that have been idle would kick back to life. That is one of the big­gest op­por­tu­ni­ties that this project brings first and fore­most, it is cre­ation of employment, and it then cre­ates ad­di­tional value for coun­try.”

Speak­ing fur­ther on the firm’s lat­est project, the NLNG boss main­tained that Train-7 was be­yond do­mes­tic gas for the com­pany, adding that it was a global re­sponse to what the global mar­ket had been do­ing in terms of gas.

He said, “In to­day’s re­al­ity, we are lag­ging be­hind as a com­pany and as a coun­try. We did a very ba­sic anal­y­sis to com­pare re­source to ca­pac­ity and we just saw that the op­por­tu­ni­ties for Nige­ria have not re­ally started.

“We were just 24 months be­hind Qatar when we started in 1999, but to­day, Qatar has got 77 mil­lion tonnes and we have 22 mil­lion tonnes. Train-7 would add an­other eight mil­lion tonnes to take us to 30 mil­lion tonnes.

“Just when we thought we were am­bi­tious to go to 30 mil­lion tonnes, Qatar wants to add 30 mil­lion tonnes to theirs. And that for us is a ma­jor rea­son to wake up to the re­al­ity that Train-7 is no longer am­bi­tious. Not for NLNG, not for Nige­ria, but on the back of this project, we ex­pect to see, as the NNPC men­tioned, 12,000 di­rect employment op­por­tu­ni­ties cre­ated by this project.”

The Group Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, NNPC, Mele Kyari, stated that the project when op­er­a­tional, would ul­ti­mately de­liver at least $20bn of net rev­enue to the fed­er­a­tion, cre­ate at least 10,000 di­rect jobs and 40,000 in­di­rect jobs.

In Septem­ber 2019, the NLNG an­nounced that SCD Joint Ven­ture Con­sor­tium, com­pris­ing Saipem of Italy, Japan’s Chiy­oda and Dae­woo of South Korea, had emerged the pre­ferred bid­der for the Train-7 project.

It said the con­sort had been awarded the con­tract to un­der­take the en­gi­neer­ing, Pro­cure­ment and Con­struc­tion for the Train-7 project.

Photo: Stan­ley Ogidi

•An aerial view of CMS Bus Stop, dur­ing the New Year cel­e­bra­tions on Wed­nes­day.

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