No plans to sell refineries, says FG
President Goodluck Jonathan said on Friday he did not approve the sale of the nation's four refineries.
According to the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, President Goodluck Jonathan has not given and does not plan to give approval to that effect.
He spoke to state house correspondents in Abuja.
Oil and gas workers unions had threatened to embark on a nationwide industrial action following the announcement thatthe four refineries had been slated for privatisation in 2014 by the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE.
Mr. Abati, however, dismissed the threat by the oil and gas workers, insisting that if the reason for the proposed strike is the issue of the refineries, then the action would not take place.
An attempt to sell the refineries was first made during the administration of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, but the decision was reversed by his successor, the late President Umaru Yar'adua.
Also, a presidential committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan in the wake of the corruption scandal in the oil and gas industry had recommended the sale of the refineries as a way to avoid the wastage of government funds.
There had been news that the President has approved the constitution of a steering committee chaired by the Minister of Petroleum Resources with 13 members including the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Minister of Power, Minister of Labour and Minister of National Planning, to oversee the privatisation process.
The national bodies of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers, (NUPENG) had announced plans by their associations to commence an industrial action in the first week of January 2014, if the Federal Government failed to rescind its alleged decision to privatise the refineries.
They claimed that the planned privatisation was an attempt to hand over the nation's refineries to cronies of the Federal Government.