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Kachukwu clears air, says no plan to sell, concession or abandon any refinery, but…
After months of silence on what actually transpired between the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the ANI Agip group of Italy and Oando Nigeria, the Minister, Dr. Ibe kachukwu has come out to claim that “There has been no attempt, no approval to concession refineries or sell. What we have approval for is to bring financing mechanisms that enable us to find the resource to upgrade the refineries.”
But industry pundits say they are yet to understand the meaning and implications of ‘financing mechanisms’ to upgrade the refineries.
According to him, the financing mechanisms for the refineries would pass through the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in a competitive and transparent manner, adding that all the processes would be done with the management of the refineries and NNPC in place.
However, explaining more during the recent fifth triennial national delegates’ conference of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) in Abuja, he argued that “In their present epileptic nature, they would probably be obsolete in the next three to four years”.
“The reality is that once the private sector players begin to build their own refineries, whatever we think we are concessioning, will disappear. Unless we move very quickly to reposition those refineries in such a way that they can compete, we would lose the refineries completely.”