Atiku challenges NNPCL over planned privatisation of P-Harcourt refinery

…Rehabilitated with $1.5bn loan

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has challenged the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, to explain why it wants to privatise Port Harcourt refinery for which $1.5billion load was borrowed to rehabilitate.

Recall that NNPCL, had recently said it wants to turn the rehabilitated refinery to private concerns for operation and maintenance.

Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC, Limited

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate in the February 25, 2023, poll, Atiku on Tuesday, said:

“I have always advocated 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.

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“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 privatize the refineries. They left them idle for years while paying humongous staff salaries.

“Then, they contracted a loan of $1.5 billion for rehabilitation. 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 NNPCL must explain to the satisfaction of Nigerians what benefits its newly discovered approach to privatisation will confer on Nigeria and Nigerians,” he added.

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