The House of Representatives on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to suspend the proposed sale of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).
This was sequel to a motion by Rep. Randolph Brown (Rivers-PDP) on the urgent need to stop the sale of the gas company.
In the motion, Brown said that there had been supports by some prominent Nigerians for the Federal Government to sell the multi-billion dollar NLNG to raise funds to be injected in the nation’s economy.
“This proposal was a result of a 2016 recommendation after a ministerial retreat, for an ambitious fiscal stimulus plan involving the generation and injection of massive foreign capital.
“The massive foreign capital estimated at between 10 billion dollars and 15 billion dollars (about N 4.72 trillion) into the economy to address economic recession.
“The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, had stated that one of the ways to fund the economy was through the sale of some national assets and the proceeds reinvested in the economy for infrastructural development.
“The NLNG is one of the most successful ventures that Nigeria has embarked upon when it started from train one through to the sixth train and now the seventh train in the offing,” he said.
He recalled that Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), among other organisations, had seriously frowned at the move.
The lawmaker added that both bodies also warned the Federal Government against the proposed sale of national assets, especially the NLNG.
“Resuscitating the Nigerian economy from recession is the actual reason for the proposed sale of the NLNG even though there are other options the government may adopt to resuscitate the economy.
“Also, the government has the option of borrowing on long-term against the dividends in the NLNG and convert its Joint Venture Holdings in some multi-national oil corporations into incorporated Joint Venture Companies.
“It will also encourage wealthy Nigerians who can afford to buy and therefore rooting for the sale of national assets, to invest in the economy or to set up their own LNG projects, considering the huge reserves of natural gas in the country,” he said.
He expressed concern that Nigerian workers would be at the receiving end if the sale was allowed to go unchallenged.
Brown also pointed out that it was not in any conventional economic reality for any nation to resort to selling off its assets during challenging times “as this exhibits leadership laxity and policy myopia’’.
The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara.
Consequently, the house resolved to investigate the allegations by an ad hoc committee and urged that the sale of NLNG be postponed.
It also mandated its Committee on Gas Resources to ensure compliance.