PENGASSAN gives conditions for refineries privatisation
Oil workers under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have called on the Federal Government to follow due process and take care of all labour concerns before selling the nation’s refineries.
The association was reacting to a recent media report where the Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Diezani Alison- Madueke said that the Federal Government will soon sale the refineries.
PENGASSAN President Comrade Babatunde Ogun said the minister ought to have addressed the underlying issues before making her statement.
He explained that labour advocated the adoption of the Strategic Partnership Model (SPM), just like Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) model, for the ownership structure of the refineries, where core investor shall take the 51 per cent golden stake and sector unions and workers shall join the government and others to buy into the remaining 49 per cent to reduce government undue interference in the running of the refineries.
According to him, it surprised the union to hear the minister talked about the issue of the refineries at a time the union thought the issue has been laid to rest during a tripartite meeting between the labour, government and other stakeholders.
The PENGASSAN President argued: “The minister is fond of talking to the public before discussing with relevant stakeholders and at the end of the day, after discussing with stakeholders, such policies that she had announced will be put on hold. Due process should be followed in doing things in this country.
“The first time she talked about the sales of the refineries was in London at an investment forum, when she said that the refineries will be privatised before April and at the end of the day, the Presidency halted the process for the sales.”
He said that even if the government will release the minority shares, the refineries must be in 100 per cent functional position by carrying out a Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) on them with a guaranteed supply of crude which is the feed stock of the refineries, adding that adequate security should also be provided for all oil and gas infrastructures, especially pipelines and those transporting refined products to depots and terminals throughout the country.