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Friday, June 14, 2024

Reps To Probe Plan To Sell Refineries



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Teddy Oscar, Abuja


The House of Representatives’ committees on Privatisation, Petroleum Resources (Downstream) and Due Process have been directed to investigate the Federal Government’s plan to sell four state-owned refineries.


This was the outcome of a motion raised by Hon. Hassan El-Badawy on ‘plan to sell Nigerian refineries’.


El-Badawy, in his motion, noted that the announcement of the plan to sell the state-owned refineries was made without the knowledge of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the National Council on Privatisation (NCP).


Recall that Diezani Allison-Madueke, minister of petroleum resources, had revealed that the refineries in Kaduna, Warri and Port Harcourt would be sold to private investors in the first quarter of 2014.


The minister spoke in an interview with Bloomberg TV Africa in London on November 18, 2013.


El-Badawy also recalled that Allison-Madueke had put the turnaround maintenance (TAM) of the refineries at $1.6 billion (about N251.2 billion) during an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) on October 8, 2012.


He noted that the action of the minister undermines the privatisation regulatory agencies.


“There appears to be a clear contradiction between the position of the minster and that of the director general of BPE with regard to the privatisation of refineries as the latter stated that the nation’s refineries would be available for privatisation, after the Petroleum Information Bill (PIB) has been passed.


“The ministers action seems to be in isolation of what the regulatory authorities, that is NCP and BPE, had resolved on the matter. The minister’s action is in conflict with the ongoing legislative action, which seeks to provide a legal framework for the subject matter to provide a clear direction on whatever future action is contemplated by the minister or any regulatory authority,” he pointed out.

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