If former President Olusegun Obasanjo has any regret, its the fact that he failed to privatize the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) throughout his eight years in office.
Obasanjo stated this on Monday at the opening of a two-day maritime stakeholders’ conference hosted by the Ministry of Transportation and its agencies in Lagos.
He called for the privatisation of the maritime institutions in Nigeria, saying that Nigeria has to make her institution work.
The former President said “The institutions that are important in the country, which have not worked, we have to make them work. We can use the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas company as a model.
“We should look into these areas and think outside of the box. Until the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency became a place where people stole money, nobody knew much about it. Now, everybody wants to work there. Look at the National Inland Waterways Authority, the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron and the Nigeria Ports Authority, which we tried to privatise. These are institutions we can make to work.”
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.”