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BPE confirms sale of four refineries in 2014

By The Citizen
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The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) yesterday confirmed that the federal government would privatise the four refineries in the country next year.

The bureau's Head, Public Communications, Mr Chigbo Anichebe, said in Abuja, that the refineries' privatisation was part of the ongoing oil sector's reforms.

Last week, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, had told Bloomberg TV Africa in London, that the country would privatise theĀ  four refineries by the first quarter of next year.

Her disclosure was the second time the federal government would unfold plans to privatise its refineries. President Olusegun Obasanjo hadĀ  approved the sale of the refineries during his administration but his successor, the late President Umaru Yar'Adua in 2007 reversed the sale of the refineries for lack of transparency in the transaction. However, President Goodluck Jonathan in November 2012 recommended that the refineries should be sold due to inadequate financing and sub-optimal performance.

It is uncertain, however, if the federal government would take into consideration the right of first refusal which was granted business moguls, Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola, who bought the Port Harcourt refinery in 2007, but was reversed by the late Yar’Adua.