‘NLNG’s Act repeal ‘ll jeopardise $20b  investment’

• Minister: NASS is patriotic

The Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) has warned that any tinkering with the law guiding its activities may spell doom for the country.

Its  Managing Director, Mr. Tony Attah warned that should the House of Representatives go ahead with its plan to repeal the NLNG Act, the company could be forced to halt its over $20 billion planned Train 7 project, which is capable of creating 18,000 jobs.

Attah  spoke when he led a delegation of top management workers of the company on a courtesy visit to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed in Abuja, yesterday.

He warned that such an action will not only portray the country in a bad light but was capable of sending investors away.

Attah noted that the current Act provided incentives, which has enabled the take off of operation after about 30 years.

He said: “We have few issues,  particularly with our legislators who are looking at the Act which is really the pillar of the foundation of the NNLG as a company and as an entity.

“As we speak, there is a proposal in the House of Representatives to repeal the Act, which unfortunately will not do well, first for the company but  more importantly it will not do well for Nigeria.

“And like I said without contradiction, that the  Act itself is an Act of parliament; that Act has enabled this investment which took more than 30 years to come to fruition. Ultimately,  NLNG as a company has been enabled only  because of the incentives in the Act, but there are guarantees and assurances  also given within the Act, which we expect to be sacrosanct and we ordinarily expect as a minimum sanctity of contract between Nigeria and the investors.

“ So we see the attempt by the legislators to repel this Act as something that  could be very very detrimental to the country and unfortunately to some of your efforts at managing the image of this  country.

“First and foremost, we think you will as a country, be faced with arbitration, which is a risk and reputationaly it puts you once again in the open negatively  because you are reneging on your promises. We also see potential capital flight in essence for our Train 7 which we are hoping to progress with potentially; we will be bringing more than $20billion worth of investment to Nigeria as not going to happen, because if you promise me that you will guarantee that my investment will be safe and overtime, you start to erode that, the propensity to bring more value or  investment, will of course as any business persons will do, will have to diminish, which is unfortunate.

He reminded the minister of the the company’s contributions to the growth and development of the country, with more than $20 billion investment in the last five years.

Responding, the minister assured the NLNG management that members of the National Assembly will never do anything to jeopardise the activities of the company.

He said it will be very sad if anything is done to harm or slow down the success and progress of the NLNG, given it’s contributions to the economy.

“I want to assure you that we have  an extremely patriotic National Assembly, and I have absolute confidence that they will not do anything knowingly that will lead to capital flight or mass disinvestment in Nigeria,” he said.

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