After NNPC makes N287bn profit, Femi Adesina shades Atiku over promise to sell corporation
Naysayers, like former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, were not happy that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) made profit under Presdient Muhammadu Buhari, presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, has said.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity stated this in the latest installment of his weekly column, ‘From The Inside…Fridays With Femi Adesina’.
Recall that the NNPC recently celebrated generating a profit after tax of N287 billion in 2020, the first time in the history of the corporation.
In the build-up to the 2019 presidential election, Atiku, the presidential candidate of the PDP, had promised to sell off 90 per cent of the corporation.
In an interview with ‘The African Report’, a monthly publication, the former Vice President said he would only retain 10 per cent of NNPC for the Federal Government.
But after the corporation achieved the recent feat, Adesina wrote, “The news came like a thundering typhoon last week. For the first time in its 44 years history, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had made a profit.
“Net profit after tax stood at N287 billion in Year 2020, sequel to the completion of the statutory Annual Audit exercise. What year? 2020. Year of the Coronavirus pandemic, when most of the world, including Nigeria, was under lockdown! And here was NNPC, recording profit first time in its history. How did it happen? How can it?
“Well, it happened because perhaps for the first time in the history of the country, and of the NNPC, “there is a President who is not using the place like a personal automated teller machine. He’s not collecting millions upon millions of dollars by fiat, nor is he giving directives for any under the table deal. And that President also happens to be the Minister for Petroleum Resources.
“Before we discuss how Muhammadu Buhari broke the jinx, let’s consider how naysayers responded to the good news. They first pretended it didn’t happen. The announcement came, and it didn’t resonate. They didn’t share it widely on social media, some traditional media platforms didn’t even publish it. Those who reluctantly did, made it sound more like an obituary announcement. What a country!
“Remember they had said they would sell NNPC before the 2019 elections, which they had thought they would win. They lost. Flat. And the would-be sellers, and the prospective buyers, were naturally not happy that the oil corporation had made profit: under Buhari.
“After first trying to downplay the news, they began to pick holes in it. The profit was only on paper, and didn’t exist in real terms. It was money that should have gone into the Federation Account, and was withheld by NNPC. Blah, blah, blah. The same NNPC they had wanted to sell to their friends,” Adesina said.