*As NNPC to employ private company security outfit on pipelines
Lagos — Private companies are currently bidding to operate the country’s four refineries on behalf of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, SweetcrudeReports has learnt.
A source close to the matter hinted that allowing a third-party take control of the refineries which have been in an almost zero productive state for many years now, would resolve the challenges of petroleum importation, thereby saving costs.
“There is currently a bid going on for who would operate the refineries on behalf of the NNPC- more like a third party control,” the source said.
SweetcrudeReports further gathered that the corporation is also looking for financiers for repair of the refineries pipelines and depots.
Nigeria has four refineries: two in Port Harcourt, and one each in Kaduna and Warri.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari earlier revealed that the corporation is determined to ensure the refineries achieve optimum refining capacity by 2022.
Our source added that the aim of revamping the refineries is to get petroleum products across to the consumers at cheaper prices.
Although Nigeria boasts of four refineries, it, however, relies on imported petroleum products for its over 200 million populace.
“The easiest, cleanest, and fastest way of moving products is through the pipelines but there is the challenge of sabotage. And today, it has become more difficult for the NNPC to maintain the pipelines due to sabotage,” he said.
Accordingly, the NNPC has also resolved to employ services of private security outfit to man the pipelines against incessant vandalism.
“The corporation pays huge money for security, including engaging the services of the locals, however, it is still a mystery how these vandals get past them and continuously destroy the pipelines to steal products”.
“Negotiations have started to transfer the pipeline monitoring to private security outfit,” he added.
Bidders for the pipeline repairs, we learnt are expected to finance and execute the project, then operate for some years to recover costs before transferring back to the NNPC.