06 January 2014, Lagos – Oil marketers have said the only way to revamp the refineries and make them operate efficiently is through privatisation which will engender private sector ownership and control.
The Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Obafemi Olawore, who spoke to The Nation, said the delay in the privatisation of the refineries is like postponing the evil day. He said if the privatisation doesn’t take place soon, it will certainly happen.
He said the government’s announcement rescinding its earlier report on plans to privatise the refineries is just to buy time, citing the government’s reason, which was hinged on fears of strike threats by labour unions. He insisted that the earlier the refineries are privatised, the better for the economy.
He said the privatisation of the refineries would bring in private sector efficiency, adding that the process must be transparent and competitive while local and international investors should be allowed to bid for them.
Such investors, he said, must also have the financial muscle and technical know-how to efficiently run the refineries. Proper due diligence must be conducted on the investors to ensure they are not mere fronts who don’t have the capacity but interested in asset-stripping.
He advised that pending when the refineries start running efficiently and to capacity, people will be allowed to import petroleum products and be paid subsidy promptly in accordance with the subsidy guidelines.
– The Nation