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We will oppose planned sale of refineries: NUPENG

By The Rainbow

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG)  has said it is opposed to the  move against the Federal Government's planned sale of the nation's four refineries next year.

According to the oil workers' body, insisting that selling the refineries is not the solution to importation of refined petroleum products, but the building of more refineries.

NUPEND, in a statement by its General Secretary, Isaac Aberare, said it could not understand  why government would suddenly wake up to talk about selling the public refineries in 2014.

It warned  that any decision on the refineries without the involvement of NUPENG and its Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, counterpart, would be resisted with everything at labour's disposal.

The union urged the government to exercise caution as all the stakeholders must be involved, if the plan will see the light of day.

In the view of NUPENG,  the sale of the refineries is not the solution to the massive importation of petroleum products into the country.

It laid the entire problem on  government's blunt refusal to do the Turn-Around-Maintenance of these refineries over the years to make them function optimally.

'We stress that a lot of intrigues, power play, selfish interest to protect the cabal importing fuel had come to play, leaving the equipment in the refineries to rot away,' the union said.

According to NUPENG, the refineries as organizations in the commanding height of the nation's economy should remain in the control of government for security and strategic reasons and should not be allowed to be sold to government cronies and front men, as it has just happened in the power sector.

'NUPENG is of the belief that more refineries should be established, in the model of the NLNG strategic partnering and more investors given tax holidays and land to enable them construct new ones just like the initiative of the Dangote refinery instead of trying to sell the nation's assets as scraps,' it added.