President Goodluck Jonathan has said his administration has no plan sell the four refineries in the country.
Jonathan, through his spokesman, Reuben Abati, was reacting yesterday to reports that he had approved the privatisation of Port Harcourt Refining Company Ltd. (PHRC) I, Port Harcourt Refining Company Ltd. (PHRC) II, Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Ltd. (KRPC) and Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company Ltd. (WRPC).
Late last year, Petroleum Resources Minister Diezani Alison Madueke said in an interview with Bloomberg TV Africa in London that the four refineries were going to be sold.
“We would like to see major infrastructural entities such as refineries moving out of government hands into the private sector. Government does not want to be in the business of running major infrastructure entities and we haven’t done a very good job at it over all these years,” the minister was quoted to have said.
The Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) had also in a statement issued on December 20 by its head of public communications, Chigbo Anichebe, announced that Jonathan had approved the privatisation of the nation’s four refineries.
It also said the president had also approved the constitution of a steering committee consisting of stakeholders from relevant ministries and agencies for the privatisation process.
The committee, chaired by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, will advise the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), headed by Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo on the best way to privatise the refineries.
“The committee will review the diagnostic reports and recommendations of the transaction advisors and make recommendations to the NCP, propose modalities and make recommendations on labour matters to ensure a successful privatisation. They will also oversee the general process, make recommendations, carry out any other ancillary activities relevant to the attainment of the goals of the Federal Government in the privatisation of the nation’s refineries,” the BPE’s statement had said.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) had threatened to down tool if the government went ahead to sell the refineries.
But the presidential spokesman told State House correspondents yesterday that the Federal Government had no plans to sell the refineries.
Abati added that there was also no presidential approval for the sale of the refineries.
He therefore urged the PENGASSAN and the NUPENG to drop their planned strike, saying “the government is not going to sell any refineries. There is no such plan and there is no presidential approval for such. Nobody, not even the Minister of Petroleum Resources, has powers to sell any government property”
culled from dailytrust.com