The Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission has asked the President-elect, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, not to sell Nigeria equity in Joint Venture partnerships with international oil companies.
In a statement made available to reporters, in Abuja yesterday, Chairman of RMAFC, Mr. Elias Mbam, described reducing Nigeria’s stake in the ventures through equity sale, as unwise in view of the fact that the country, in the long run, would lose rather than gain revenue in the proposed transaction.
Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefile, had reportedly urged Buhari to consider selling about 30 per cent of the nation’s stake in the ventures in order to raise funds required for immediate infrastructure development.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, on behalf of the government, holds about 55 per cent equity in the joint venture operations with multinational oil corporations, including Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total, Nigerian Agip, and Pan Ocean.
Government wholly-owned exploration company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Development Company, an arm of NNPC, had not lived up to expectation as it is not yet a force to be reckoned with despite the huge exploratory business in the country that is dominated by the IOCs.
According to Emefiele’s proposal, Nigeria stands to generate about N14.9trn required for critical infrastructure development if it sells about half of its holdings in the JV operations.
However, Mbam said outright sale of the federation’s equity holdings in the JVs with IOCs would directly impact negatively on the federation account.