26 January 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The National Executive Council, NEC of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN has kicked against the proposed amendment of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG Company Act.
The NEC of PENGASSAN said some of the proposed amendment to act will damage the country’s image; destroy much needed foreign investments; lead to immediate loss of $25 billion and 18,000 jobs; potential loss of income to the federal in taxes and dividend among others.
Highlights of the proposed amendment to NLNG Acts include: Deletion of government’s undertaking to honour the Shareholders Agreement of the Company and other contemplated contracts; deletion of Assurances by government to retain agreed Fiscal and Security Regime of the investment; and extension to NLNG of three percent contribution of the total annual budget of the company, payable only by upstream companies to NDDC.
The NEC of PENGASSAN in a communiqué signed by its President, Comrade Francis Olabode Johnson and acting General Secretary, Comrade Lumumba Okugbawa explained that NLNG succeeded largely due to the provisions of the NLNG Act which gave investors the confidence to invest in the country but stressing that with the proposed amendment, that confidence will be will be eroded and will jeopardise critical ongoing and future investments in Nigeria.
The communiqué stated that it was after 35 years of unsuccessful efforts that NLNG could only be incorporated upon the enactment of the NLNG Act which enable the establishment of the company and attracted the need investment.
“Any amendment, particularly at this time of recession will also mean an immediate potential loss of foreign investment of $25 billion in respect of NLNG’s Trains 7and 8 investment,” the communiqué stated adding that the expected 18,00o jobs for trains 7and 8 will be lost if the act is amended.
Therefore, the NEC of PENGASSAN unanimously agreed in the communiqué that the “proposed amendment of the NLNG Act is NOT in the interest of Nigeria and it is ABSOLUTELY necessary that the Act is not amended as the imminent losses will far outweigh any doubtful gains; this is completely against what the country requires at this time and should not be allowed.”
In addition, the PENGASSAN hierarchy strongly recommend for the sanctity of the NLNG Act and its provisions, be preserved in the greater overall interest of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, urging the country’s legislators to make laws that will improve existing businesses in the country and also attract new investments and not laws which will stifle business, employment and/or erode investor confidence.