The Federal Government has been advised to make the refineries function at a minimum of 70 per cent of installed capacity (450,000 barrels per day) before selling them off to private investors.
A civil society coalition, “Bring back out refineries”, said there is more to the issue of privatization of the refineries than meets the eye, adding that selling them at the current state of disrepair will be a waste of national heritage.
The coalition, led by Mr Solomon Ben Olonade, said the wilful refusal of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to repair the refineries in a bid to sell them off as scrap factories, calls for concern, suggesting that it is a plot to keep it non-operational in order to sell it at a cheaper rate to cronies.
He stated: “Presently, Nigeria is annually losing around N1trillion to the offshore processing agreements (OPA) and crude for products swap (SWAP) arrangement through which the industry takes care of the crude oil left unrefined out of the statutory daily allocations to the refineries. OPA and SWAP are enough arguments for the NNPC and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to repair the four refineries.
“It is deeply annoying that while the current NNPC group executive director (GED), refineries and petrochemicals, Mr Ian Gregory Udoh, was managing director both at the Kaduna and Port Harcourt refineries, they were both significantly operational. Now that all refineries are under Mr Udoh, how come none is working?”
Olonade said the group would send a petition to the Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, on the refusal to put the refineries operational, as the plan to sell the refineries as scrap would be resisted.