Don’t Sell Equity in Joint Ventures, RMAFC Tells Buhari

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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.

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