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Better To Sell It – Atiku Condemns Nigerian Petroleum Company, NNPCL Plan To Privatise Port Harcourt Refinery

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SaharaReporters earlier reported that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) called for applications from private companies interested in maintaining and operating the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC).

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has asked the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to explain to the satisfaction of Nigerians what benefits its privatisation of the Port Harcourt refinery will confer on the country and citizens.

SaharaReporters earlier reported that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) called for applications from private companies interested in maintaining and operating the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC).

This was made known on Monday via the commission’s X platform, explaining that the decision was made to improve dependability and sustainability to meet the country’s fuel supply and energy security requirements.

However, the former Vice President in a statement posted on its X platform on Tuesday, explained that without prejudice to the terms of the agreement between the NNPCL and the private operators, it would undoubtedly have been better if the NNPCL had sold the refinery to avoid the burden of debt.

He wrote; “I have always advocated for far-reaching reforms to reposition Nigeria’s oil sector and, indeed, other sectors of our economy. In particular, I had consistently called on the Buhari administration to break its monopoly in all infrastructure sectors, including the refineries, and give investors, both foreign and domestic, a larger role in funding and management.

“My position has been well laid out in The Atiku Plan (2018) and My Covenant With Nigerians (2022). But our suggestions fell on deaf ears.  First, they refused to privatise the refineries. They left them idle for years while paying humongous staff salaries.

“Now, the current administration wants to turn the rehabilitated refinery to private concerns for operation and maintenance!

“Without prejudice to the terms of the agreement between the NNPC and the private operators, it would undoubtedly have been better if the NNPC had sold the refinery, pre-rehabilitation, to avoid the burden of debt.

“The @nnpclimited must explain to the satisfaction of Nigerians what benefits its newly discovered approach to privatisation will confer on Nigeria and Nigerians,” the statement added.

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