The plan to sell four of the nation’s refineries by first quarter of 2014 has prompted the reaction of no fewer than 200 staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, who staged a peaceful protest in Abuja on Thursday against the planned sale of the refineries.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, had in an interview with Bloomberg TV Africa in London, disclosed that plans were underway to sell the refineries to private investors.
The development was also confirmed by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) which said that the privatization process would be completed before the first quarter of 2014.
But the workers, who protested under the aegis of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), as early as 8.30am, gathered within the premises of the NNPC headquarters singing solidarity songs just as they vowed to resist the decision to sell the refineries.
Dressed in red shirts and red cap to match, the protesting staff were led by the NNPC PENGASSAN Group Chairman, Sanusi Abdulkareem, and NUPENG Group chairman, Richard Otuvwere.
Some of the Placards read, ‘We say no to illegal sale of our refineries, we cannot be fooled anymore’. ‘Hide not under privatisation to hijack our refineries’, among others.