• Stakeholders’ expectations from new NNPC’s directors
• Want focus on self-sufficiency in petroleum products
STRONG indications have emerged in Abuja that President Muhammadu
Buhari may not be in a hurry to sell Nigeria’s three refineries.
It was understood he may not do so because it may place the economy
in the hands of the private sector and lay it open for possible
exploitation which may bring hardship to poor Nigerians.
Meanwhile, expectations are soaring that Nigeria may begin to enjoy
the benefits of crude oil resources following the leadership change and
restructuring at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Stakeholders in the oil and gas industry are of the opinion that in
order to make a remarkable impact, the new heads at the NNPC would have
to vigorously pursue the Federal Government’s aspiration to transform
the industry, especially the NNPC into an integrated oil and gas company
by introducing policies and strategies that will improve crude oil
A source told The Guardian: “The thinking of this present government
is to minimise waste through prudent management of resources and tame
corruption. The appointment of Dr Emmanuel Kachikwu as Group Managing
Director of the NNPC is meant to achieve his aim of zero tolerance for
corruption in the operations of subsidiaries of the NNPC.”
The Guardian gathered that the President’s decision might have been
buoyed by the feat of local engineers who successfully carried out the
Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of the ailing refineries after the
original manufacturer turned down an offer to rehabilitate them.
It was gathered that the President is convinced that corruption is at
heart of the ailing refineries and that good and efficient management
could return them to summit of their installed capacity. may be avoiding
an early collision with Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff
Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), which has continually opposed the
sale or outright privatization of the refineries.
Stakeholders fault past management of refineries
Speaking recently, the National President of Nigerian Association of
Energy Economics (NAEE), Prof Wumi Iledare said the approach government
has adopted to manage the refineries or seek investment have been wrong.
He explained that government ought to issue simple ‘permits’ as against making them buy licenses, which cost so much money.
Specifically, Iledare argued that building of new refineries would
have a multi-dimensional layer in creation of jobs and business
His words: “Government should not give license for building of
refineries, but should give permits instead to people that want to build
refineries based on environmental impact assessment, technical
capabilities and financial resources. There should be a tenders board to
evaluate the claims for that purpose and the Nigerian people must also
know the owners of the planned refineries.
Above all, there must be consistency in policy by the Federal Government.
Those who got licenses did so because government said it was selling
off the refineries and efforts were on to remove the subsidy, which was
an incentive for the private sector to move in and take advantage of the