Lagos Lawmakers Laud FG’s Move To Sell Refineries

port-harcourt-refinerySome lawmakers in Lagos on Wednesday lauded the Federal Government’s plan to privatise the four refineries belonging to Nigeria.

They gave the kudos in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, had on Nov. 18 announced that the four refineries would be privatised by the first quarter of 2014.

Mr Rotimi Olowo (APC-Somolu I), the Chairman, House Committee on Works and Infrastructure, said that the development was in the national interest as it would allow the refineries to meet both the local and international consumption.

“All these refineries are moribund. The capacity cannot meet local consumption, let alone for exportation.

“More importantly is the fact that they are not well managed. There are a lot of leakages; corruption will not make those refineries meet our social and economic needs.

“So, let them privatise them, then let there be a target that whoever is going to buy them must refine for local consumption at subsidised rate.

“Then, the exportation can now be done using flat rate that is international price for petroleum product”.

Also, Mr Saka Fafunmi, the Chairman, House Committee on Public Account, appealed to the Federal Government to be transparent in carrying out the exercise.

Fafunmi (APC-Ifako-Ijaiye II) said that the privatisation should be done at a reasonable price.

“If privatisation will be done with transparency, I do not see any wrong in privatising our refineries, knowing full well that government has been running the refineries and without the desired result.

“Oil business is a business and a solid one. That is why you see that major corporations are doing well while government-owned corporations are not doing well in the oil sector.

“We may not have the required expertise to manage most of our operations, but if it is done in the interest of the public at large, is a welcome idea.

Another lawmaker, Mr Bisi Yusuf, advised the Federal Government to wait for the outcome of privatised Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) before embarking on another privatisation.

Yusuf (APC-Alimosho I), the Chairman, House Committee on Transportation, Commerce and Industry, said that privatising the refineries was a delicate action that needed to be properly handled.

NAN reports that the Head, Public Communication at Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr Chigbo Anichebe, had said that privatisation of the refineries was part of the ongoing reforms of the oil sector. (NAN)

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