Africaâ€™s Richest Man, Aliko Dangote, has said thatÂ he is not interested in buying the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), even if the federal government offers to sell to him on credit.
He made this known in anÂ exclusive interview with THISDAY.Â According to him, he offered his proposal as a way out of Nigeriaâ€™s present economic recession because he is â€œa true Nigerian who really wants the issues about the economy to be sorted outâ€.
â€œYou know the issue, once your reserves are low, the banks, entrepreneurs, including external forces, would definitely attack your currency. They would speculate on your currency.
We all know that the exchange rate of almost N500 to the dollar is not a true reflection of the value of the currency â€“ the naira cannot be almost N500 to the dollar!
But you see, if this thing is not handled properly, it can get out of hand. It can get to N600 to the dollar, or even N700 to the dollar.
But the issue is, why did I suggest that we should sell some of the assets? I know the touchy one is the NLNG. I want to make it categorically clear that even if the government is selling NLNG on credit, I am not interested in buying.
I donâ€™t have any interest in NLNG and I will not buy it. It is not a business that I want to invest in. It is a mature business; that is what people donâ€™t understand.
You see, we should have invested heavily in all these Brass LNG, Olokola LNG, etc, when former President Olusegun Obasanjo started work on the projects, but we missed the opportunity.
Today, you have massive LNG projects that have been done by Qatar, Australia and the United States is also exporting. But right now, all the gas that we have is even in the ground. Even Mozambique has a massive amount of gas and also Tanzania, and they are nearer to the markets than we are.
So, if somebody is even going to invest in LNG, he would go to those areas and invest there and not here in Nigeria, because the investment here daunting. So my own suggestion is that even if we must sell, it doesnâ€™t have to be 100 per cent of our interest in NLNG,â€Dangote said.
Dangote added that although NLNG is generating $1.5 billion for the Federal Government, the country will earn more from it if FG reduces its stake on it and allow it to run professionally.