FG Makes U-Turn On Refinery Sales, Refutes Claim Of Fuel Price Hike


The Presidency has made a u-turn on plans to sell the four refineries as it yesterday denied any such claim. It’s believed that the govt reversed self to forstall planned strike by unions in the oil industry, who are opposed to the plan.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, in a statement in Abuja said there was no basis for the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, to embark on strike as government has no intention of selling the refineries.

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke had earlier claimed that the Federal government had concluded plans to sell all the refineries by first quarter of 2014.

“We would like to see major infrastructure entities, such as refineries, moving out of government hands into the private sector. Government does not want to be in the business of running major infrastructure entities and we haven’t done a very good job at it over the years,” Alison- Madueke had said.

But Abati explained that the Federal Government was not considering selling the refineries and appealed to PENGASSAN and NUPENG to drop the idea of embarking on strike.

“Government is not going to sell any refineries. There is no such plan and there is no presidential approval for such. Nobody, not even the minister of petroleum has powers to sell any government property,” he said.

The four refineries are located in Warri, Kaduna and Port Harcourt with a combined capacity of 445,000 bpd.

Also, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources has dismissed speculations that the Federal Government plans to increase pump price of petrol through a full or partial withdrawals of subsidy.

Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Danladi Kifasi, said this yesterday in a statement adding that government had no plan to increase the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from the prevailing price of N97 per litre.

 “We would like to appeal to oil marketers to refrain from the hoarding of petroleum products and the general public from panic buying in anticipation of any increase in pump price.

“It is equally important to state that neither the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources nor any of its parastatal is under any instruction to activate a new pump price regime as being speculated,” Kifasi added.

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