LAGOS, Jan 16 (Reuters) – The presidential candidate for Nigeria’s main opposition party said on Wednesday he was committed to privatising the state oil company, eliminating multiple exchange rate weeks ahead of the election that will determine who runs Africa’s top crude-producing country.
Atiku Abubakar had stated in his manifesto that he intends to break up the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) if he wins the Feb. 16 ballot.
“I am committed to privatising NNPC. Even if they are going to kill me I’ll do it,” he told business leaders in the commercial capital Lagos on Wednesday.
“With the electricity sector, it is the same thing I stand for.”
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 will double Nigeria’s economy to $900 billion by 2025.
Oil sales make up around two thirds of government revenue.
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 a financial crisis while holding back investment.
Nigeria has at least three exchange rates which the central bank introduced at the height of a currency crisis triggered by low oil prices. Abubakar told Reuters he would also remove a costly fuel subsidy and identify government enterprises to privatise.