The contributions of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) to stakeholders in its 14 years of harnessing liquefied natural gas and natural gas liquids are worth replicating.
The value-generating capacity of the company lifts the spirit and can best be appreciated from its impact on environmental hazard reduction, monetization of gas resources, foreign direct investment, impact on gross domestic product, job creation, community development, domestic liquefied petroleum gas supply, increased shipping/ maritime human resources and corporate social responsibility.
The company has contributed more than N8 trillion ($50 billion) to the Nigerian Economy. More than N2 trillion ($13 billion) in dividends payouts has also been made to the four shareholders: the Nigerian Government, Shell, Total and ENI.
In addition, more than N2.9 trillion ($18 billion) has been paid on gas purchases from oil and gas producing companies in the country of which the Federal Government owns 55-60 per cent. With its plant construction, NLNG has spawned huge foreign direct investment (FDI) for the country, created massive assets worth more than N2.1 trillion ($13 billion) owned 49 per cent by Nigeria through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
It is cheery news that the company has single-handedly contributed 4 per cent to the nation’s GDP since it began operations in addition to contributing immensely to national wealth and to the wellbeing of states in which it operates, by paying all applicable taxes and tariffs.
Beginning from this year, the company says corporate income tax will exceed N220 billion per annum, which is by far the highest in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. Beyond the financial realm, however, the company’s contributions are also visible in the sphere of job creation.
Its major contractors, for instance, employ more than 18,000 Nigerians aside its direct employees numbering over 1,000 quality staff, including members of the senior management team (SMT) and extended management team (EMT) with more than 2000 jobs created each construction year.
Besides this, the company has also indigenized the position of managing director/chief executive officer since May 2008. Since the liquefied natural gas industry was given birth to with the incorporation of the company on May 17, 1989, it has successfully been harnessing associated gas volumes, which would otherwise have been flared and lost perpetually with debilitating environmental implications.
It is on record that NLNG has so far converted about 119 Bcm (billion standard cubic metres) or 4.2 Tcf (trillion cubic feet) of Associated Gas (AG) to exports as LNG and Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs), a feat that has helped to reduce gas flaring by upstream companies from over 60 per cent to less than 25 per cent. The contributions of the company now acknowledged as one of the most important economic projects in Nigeria stretch beyond Nigeria’s shores.
The plant’s performance is regularly benchmarked internationally with other LNG plants around the world and continues to rank among the biggest and topmost performers. NLNG has, within a short span of time, grown in status to become a very reliable supplier of LNG in the Atlantic Basin, serving the European, North American and Far East markets.
Over the years, the company has also been promoting the sciences and arts through its sponsorship of The Nigeria Prize for Science and The Nigeria Prize for Literature, one of the most prestigious awards for excellence in science and literature in Africa, each worth N16.2 million ($100,000) in prize money.
The company’s special focus on education has led it under necessity to earmark N2 billion ($12 million) for the development of engineering education in six Nigerian universities to support the country’s educational sector.
University of Ibadan, University of Ilorin, University of Port Harcourt, University of Maiduguri, Ahmadu Bello University, and University of Nigeria Nsukka are beneficiaries of the company’s commitment to spending N340 million ($2 million) each on the construction of modern engineering laboratories and supplying them with cutting-edge equipment.
We believe this profile and image of the company so far calls for celebration and should feature prominently among the positive examples of what an ideal Nigerian and indeed, African company should be. It may not be the best, but it also gladdens the heart that this much of success and contribution to national development came in 14 years. It is praiseworthy and worthy of emulation.
This underpins our position that all stakeholders in the project need to avoid the danger of fatigue and complacency in their relationships with the company now and in the future However, we still encourage the company to do more for the host communities to promote inclusive growth and development beyond freebies and handouts.
Evolution of alternate economies, downstream and ancillary economic activities need to be promoted and supported to bolster rural development in such communities to avoid twitchy and frosty relationships that tend to constrict growth prospects.
It should also always make certain that relationships with its business partners are friction-free. NLNG must always see itself as an arrowhead shot into the global market to excel. Nigeria and the African continent must not be let down as the company navigates its way to achieve more milestones.