The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it would no longer be involved in managing the refineries after the rehabilitation exercise.
Mele Kyari, the corporation’s group managing director, said it would engage the services of a company that would manage the refineries on an operations and maintenance basis.
“We are going to get an O&M contract, NNPC won’t run it. We are going to get a firm that will guarantee that this plant would run for some time,” Kennie Obateru, NNPC spokesman, quoted him to have said in an interview with Arise TV.
“We want to try a different model of getting this refinery to run. And we are going to apply this process for the running of the other two refineries.”
Kyari also explained that the ultimate goal is to adopt the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) model where private partners would decide the fate of the refineries.
Also speaking on Channels TV, the NNPC boss said eliminating the petrol subsidy would free up funds to develop basic infrastructure in the education, health, transport, and other sectors for the benefit of the citizenry.
“Subsidy is elitist because it is the elites that benefit from it. They are the ones that have SUVs, four, five cars in their garages. The masses should be the ones to benefit,” he said.
“There are many things wrong with the under-recovery because it makes us supply more than is needed. This makes the under-recovery to be bloated because we unwittingly subsidize fuel for the whole of West Africa. That has to stop.”
Subsidy removal, he also said, would correct cases of smuggling and product arbitrage in the market adding that it would also provide the needed impetus for the NNPC to establish retail outlets in neighbouring countries.
On the agitation in some quarters for a reduction in the price of kerosene, he said the corporation’s focus was rather on how to migrate all those who were still using kerosene for domestic cooking to the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) which is popularly referred to as cooking gas.
According to him, apart from LPG being a cheaper fuel than kerosene, it is also safer and more environment-friendly.