Oil and Gas Industry has Failed Us – El-Rufai

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai stated Thursday that the Federal Government should leave the oil and gas industry because it has failed.

During the seventh iteration of KadInvest, an annual event by the Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency, the governor made a statement on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

Speaking on the theme of this year’s KadInvest, “Building a Resilient Economy,” El-Rufai claimed that anything the government manages ends up failing and pointed out that the industries driving the nation’s economic growth, such as entertainment, telecoms, fintech, and others, operate independently of the government. 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), he added, is Nigeria’s biggest problem and should be privatised, adding that nothing has improved since it became commercial in July 2022.

Although NNPC Limited’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, is doing his best, according to the governor of the All Progressives Congress, the company has failed and has no business operating in the sector.

He used Nigerian Telecommunications Limited as an example, which had no success until the private sector entered the picture and completely transformed the telecoms industry.

“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 noted.

In order for the nation to address the hydra-headed and long-standing issues of the sector, the governor further suggested that the Federal Government should exit the electricity business and privatise it.

“So, the government should sell everything in the oil and gas sector…The government should get out of everything left of electricity, leave it to the private sector, and create the environment, and the money will come. We did it in the telecoms sector,” he said.

When asked about the NNPC’s commercialisation, he responded, “Nothing has changed; it’s just the name has changed to include the word limited.

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

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