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Jonathan appoints steering committee for privatisation of refineries

By The Rainbow
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President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the commencement of the privatization of the nation's four refineries, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said on Friday.

According to the BPE,  the action is in line with  the economic reform programme of Jonathan administration.

Head, Public Communications of the bureau, Chigbo Anichebe, in a statement, added that the privatization of of the refineries was meant to create the right environment for the private sector asserted that it is also in line with the Transformation Agenda, which seeks to catalyze and provide an enabling environment for the private sector to be chief drivers of the sector, which is the lifewire of the Nigerian economy.

Labour unions in the downstream sector, including NUPENG and PENGASSN, have indicated their opposition to the bid by the Federal Government to privatize the refineries.

They have given a notice of strike to commence in January if the government goes ahead with the privatization exercise without their buy in.

The four refineries to be privatized include Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited (PHRC) I ;Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited (PHRC) II;Kaduna Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited (KRPC) andWarri Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited (WRPC)

In furtherance of the objective, the President has also approved the constitution of a Steering Committee on the privatization process that involves all relevant stakeholder ministries and agencies.

The Steering Committee, which is chaired by the Honorable Minister of Petroleum Resources, has the following members: Hon. Minister of Finance/CME -Member;Hon. Minister of Power-Member;Hon. Minister of Labour-Member;Hon. Minister of National Planning -Member;Hon. Minister of Mines and Steel Development - Member;Hon. Minister of Justice/AGF -Member;Chairman of the Extractive Sub Committee of the NCP-Member;SA to the Vice President on Economy-Member;Group Managing Director of NNPC -Member;Director General of BPE-Member;Group Executive Director (Refineries), NNPC-Member;MDs of Refineries Scheduled for Privatization -Members;Director (Oil and Gas), BPE-Secretary

The statement said the Steering Committee's Terms of Reference will include among others the following:Advise the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) on the best way to privatise the refineries in a manner that would enhance the gains of the privatization programme of the FGN;Review the diagnostic reports and recommendations of the transaction advisors and make recommendations to the NCP;Propose modalities and make recommendations to NCP on labour matters to ensure the successful privatization of the refineries;Generally oversee the process and make recommendations to NCP for the successful privatization of the refineries; and Carry out any other ancillary activities relevant to the attainment of the goals of the Federal Government in the reforms and privatization of the nation's refineries.

Commenting on the mandate, the Director General of the BPE, Mr. Benjamin Dikki, said,  'The directives we have is to conduct the privatization process transparently, complying with due process and international best practice. We are expected to improve on the high standards set in the power sector transaction, which has received accolades all over the world as being very transparent.'

He added that further details on the transaction structure and time table will be announced after the meeting of the Steering Committee