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FG in fresh moves to sell refineries

President Muhammadu Buhari

Maureen Ogbuokiri

There are indications that the Federal Government may have commenced fresh moves sell its four refineries to private operators. Group Managing Director of NNPC Mele Kyari disclosed that there are ongoing talks for the Federal Government to relinquish its majority stake in the moribund refineries to interested private sector operators

He told Channels TV on Wednesday that discussions were taking place on an operating model in which NNPC or the government would be a minority shareholder in the assets.

“It means there will be more scrutiny of shareholders and also becoming more efficient to operate. That conversation is on the table,” said Kyari, without specifying how the government planned to transfer ownership, or to whom.

National Mail reports that the refineries have for years worked only sporadically due to chronic underinvestment. NNPC said in April that it had shut them all down to secure funding for their refurbishment, and would no longer manage them when they reopened.

The four refineries are located at three sites in Kaduna, Warri and Port Harcourt. Kyari said the pipelines that feed them with crude oil were badly damaged.

According to NNPC data last month, the refineries processed almost no crude in the 13 months to end June, even though their operating costs totalled $367 million.

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