A professor of Economics and Chief Economic Strategist to the Economic Community of West African States, Ken Ife, has valued the assets of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, at N50 trillion, noting that the oil company can be listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited.
Ife stated this at a Growth Initiatives for Fiscal Transparency, GIFT, dialogue held in Abuja on Wednesday, noting that the N50tn valuation included the crude, gas, landed and intangible assets of NNPC Ltd.
He said that the NNPC should be quoted it in the stock market to ensure that all host communities, labour unions, oil and gas marketers, citizens and corporates partook in the public quotation.
He said this was the best way to reduce oil theft and opaque petrol subsidy being paid by the government.
“Let Nigerians have shares in NNPC. Let militants and oil thieves have shares when it is listed. Who will like to steal oil when he is a shareholder of the NNPC? Militants will not break pipelines when they are shareholders of the company. Militants will demand dividends, rather than break pipelines. If they break pipelines, they will not get dividends from the company in which they have shares. If Nigerians are shareholders, it then becomes their decision to maintain subsidy or remove it,” he said.
Ife, who is also a consultant to the Central Bank of Nigeria, said the PMS subsidy had reached a critical juncture where the government was now looking to borrow N4 trillion per year for, when 50 modular refineries could be funded with just N2 trillion to refine 1 million barrels a day.
He regretted that the Petroleum Industry Act had removed the NNPC from being subject to the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Public Procurement Act, saying that this was not healthy for transparency and accountability.