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PENGASSAN warns Nigerian government against import-driven deregulation


The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), has warned the Federal Government against embarking on import-driven deregulation of the oil sector.

President of SSAN, Festus Osifo said while the union had never opposed deregulation, it would not support a deregulation policy hinged on importation.

Speaking at a security awareness programme organised by the union in Abuja, the PENGASSAN National President, Osifo, stated: “That is why our position to support the rehabilitation of the refineries is justified.

“Nigeria will be ripe for full deregulation when the three refineries in the country are fully rehabilitated and are functioning under the efficient private sector.

“With the refineries coming on stream in the next few months and with the Dangote refinery coming on board as well, Nigeria will soon be self-sufficient in refined petroleum products.”

The PENGASSAN National President said the union welcomes the decision of the federal government to rehabilitate the nation’s refineries.
He said  PENGASSAN would carry out advocacy for private sector management of the refineries.

Osifo added that PENGASSAN would insist that the Federal Government divested its interests and allows the private sector to run them after their rehabilitation.

He stated that the government could also adopt the public-private model adopted for the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas Ltd, in which the Federal Government holds minority 49 per cent shares against the 51 per cent by the private sector.

Osifo said: “PENGASSAN has never advocated that refineries be sold. What we have always advocated is that there should be a public-private partnership in such a way that the government will not be involved in the day-to-day running of the refineries.

“Why is the Federal Government not exploring the possibility of adopting the LNG model where the government holds minority 49 per cent while the private sector will take 51 per cent? That model has worked very well.”

Speaking on the ongoing rehabilitation of refineries, he stated, “PENGASSAN welcomes the rehabilitation of the refineries. Our advocacy, once the rehabilitation work is complete, will be to call on the government to divest from the refineries and allow the private sector to run all of them.

” If we were to sell the refineries the way they are, they will be sold as scraps. If the government fixes the refineries and then divests, the money that government will get will be reasonable.”

The PENGASSAN National President lamented that “a lot of our personnel have been kidnapped. PENGASSAN is, therefore calling on the federal and state governments to be alive to their responsibilities.

“They should fund the police and other security agencies adequately. The monies they give to police stations to fuel their cars are nothing to write home about. Security cost is making foreign direct investments in the oil and gas sector to move.”

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