Govt may privatise four refineries

Port Harcourt refineries• BPE expresses optimism over quick passage of PIB

There are indications that the Federal Government is planning to privatise the nation’s refineries to mitigate the challenge of fuel scarcity in the country.

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has four refineries, two in Port Harcourt (PHRC), and one each in Kaduna (KRPC) and Warri (WRPC). The refineries have a combined installed capacity of 445,000 bpd.

These refineries have been comatose until recently, when three out of Nigeria’s four oil refineries have resumed activity and are operating at between 60 per cent and 80 per cent of their capacity.

The Director-General, Benjamin Dikki, who expressed government’s desire to privatize the
refineries, said that the plan would require the passage of the correct Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

Dikki, while receiving a delegation from Greenpark Worldwide, led by a one-time British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Sir Richard Gozney, expressed the optimism that the 8th National Assembly would have the opportunity to review the original Bill of 2008, which when passed would achieve the desired result for Nigeria.

Dikki also decried the non-regulation of the health sector in the country, which has resulted in high medical pilgrimage abroad by Nigerians.

He said it was for that reason that the Federal government was keen on reforming the sector and a joint preliminary review of the sector legislations begun by the Federal Ministry of Health and the BPE to reform the sector.

The BPE boss who revealed this on Friday, July 31, 2015, that at present only the medical practitioners were being regulated, leaving out the services and practice thus making the sector open to unqualified operators.

Dikki further informed his audience that government was also working on reforming the Sports, Hospitality &Tourism, River Basins, Housing and Road sectors. He added that five Bills in the Transport Sector were being reviewed by the government for possible re-representation to the National Assembly for enactment.

The DG noted that unfortunately the five transport sector Bills with three others were not passed before the expiration of the 7th National Assembly and expressed the hope the 8th National Assembly would expeditiously pass the Bills when presented by the executive arm.

According to him, once the Bills are passed, other new regulatory agencies would be set up or existing ones restructured. The passage of the Bills will facilitate private sector investment in infrastructure like railways, roads and inland waters ways and this would require manpower training and capacity building to drive the emerging change Nigerians yearn for.

On the Sports Sector, the DG said that given the huge population of 160 million Nigerian sports enthusiasts, a lot of potentials abound in the sector which if well harnessed, would be a veritable income earner for the country as is the case in Britain and other countries.

Earlier, leader of the delegation, Sir, Richard Gozney said Greenpark is a management training company that has the skills and capabilities to support the privatization and reform objectives of the Federal Government.

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