Business Hilights
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FG plans veiled sale of refineries’ with private sector input in $1.8bn rehab

One of the highlights of the road map for the development of the nation’s oil and gas industry, unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja weekend was to spend between $1.4bn and $1.8bn to rehabilitate the nation’s refineries within two years.

But the critical clause yet to be understood by pundits is the brain behind the rehabilitation which it said will be carried out with the participation of the private sector, if the whole plot is not to privatise.

The commissioned road map to oil and gas development plan according to the government will serve as the short and medium term priorities to grow Nigeria’s oil and gas industry from 2015 to 2019.

Government claimed that the big wins include Policy and Regulation, Business Environment and Investment Drive, Gas Revolution, Refineries and Local Production Capacity, Niger Delta and Security, Transparency and Efficiency, as well as Stakeholders’ Management and International Coordination.

According to a copy of the document obtained by Business Hilights, part of the implementation strategy of the road map is for the government to ensure integrity assessment of all existing refineries and formulate investment plans to refurbish refineries to capacity.

The draft said in parts: “The short term objective within two years is to carry out comprehensive rehabilitation programme under private sector participation to improve operations and increase capacity utilisation,” the document read.

“The medium term objectives of the plan, which covers between two and four years, are to ensure investments and sustainability of the downstream supply and distribution value chain, as well as transit Nigeria from being a massive importer of petroleum products to a net exporter of the products and valued added petrochemicals.

“As part of the strategy, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources will also be taking over the Nigerian Maritime University, Okorenkoko, Delta State, which was initially meant to be financed by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, a parastatal under the Ministry of Transportation.

This is part of fresh deal to convert the university to a Higher National Diploma-awarding institute.

The road map said “the plan will boost capacity and capabilities of youths and local groups, by promoting social inclusion and improving opportunity for self reliance, creating 500 skilled jobs and 2,000 non-skilled and indirect jobs per pipeline mill, as well as creating at least 15,000 job opportunities across oil and gas industrial park locations.”