Privatising Nigeria’s NNPC critical to growth

Opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar promises ahead of forthcoming elections

Atiku Abubakar, major challenger in Nigeria’s forthcoming presidential elections says he is committed to privatising the state oil company,  the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, if elected. 

Speaking with the country’s business community in the commercial capital of Lagos on Wednesday, Atiku disclosed that he intends to break up the NNPC to curb corruption in the oil industry and increase investments in the sector to improve job creation. 

“I am committed to privatising NNPC. Even if they are going to kill me I’ll do it. With the electricity sector, it is the same thing I stand for”, Atiku told his audience. 

Atiku Abubakar, a businessman who served as vice president between 1999 and 2007, has portrayed himself as a champion of the private sector and promised during his campaign to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari that he will double Nigeria’s economy to $900 billion by 2025.

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Oil sales make up around two thirds of government revenue in the country.

Nigeria’s power sector was privatised in 2013 but the government retained control of some areas, and its ballooning debts to energy companies has left it mired in financial crises while holding back investment. 
The main opposition candidate is also promising that he would eliminate multiple exchange rates to attract foreign investments, as Nigeria’s foreign direct investment has been on the low. 
Nigeria has atleast three exchange rates which the central bank introduced at the height of a currency crisis triggered by low oil prices. Abubakar also plans to remove a costly fuel subsidy and identify government enterprises to privatise.

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