If former President Olusegun Obasanjo has any regret during his administration, it’s the fact that he failed to privatize the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) throughout his eight years in office.
Speaking on Monday at the opening of a two-day maritime stakeholders’ conference hosted by the Ministry of Transportation and its agencies in Lagos, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, said he regrets not privatizing the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), while in office.
Speaking on NNPC, Obasanjo said, “I was instrumental to the reform and establishment of the NNPC from the Nigerian National Oil Corporation. Had I known that it would be mismanaged, I would have done something better. I would have privatised it and put it on the stock Exchange.
“The NLNG didn’t go the way of the NNPC because of the way it was organised. Fifty-one per cent is owned by private investors, both foreign and indigenous, while 49 per cent is owned by the government. In fact, the NLNG has been making money ever since the initial capital investment. From three trains, we are going to seven trains.
“NNPC is supposed to be doing well like Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG). The involvement of the private sector will ensure growth. The NLNG is making money for the government because of the involvement of the private sector. A general once left this country with two ships. He later came back with no accountability. That cannot happen in the private sector,” he said.
Obasanjo said while he was Head of State, he bought a total of 19 ships for the petroleum sector but sadly, none of them can be accounted for now. According to him, one of the ships was sold off as scrab for $500,000 and that the Federal government later bought the same ship for $2million and was repaired for $1million, adding that he was informed that the same ship was later seized for not being sea worthy.
“We were asked to pay $2million. I told them to keep the ship. It was later released (without any payment),” he said.