House of Representatives kicks against privatisation of refineries

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja

The House of Representatives has ordered a halt on the privatisation of the country’s refineries by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

The House Committee on Privatisation took the position on Wednesday at an investigative meeting in Abuja.

The Chairman of the Committee, Ahmed Yerima while ruling on the issue said the NNPC has violated the BPE Act of section 11, for initiating the procedure.

Mallam Yerima said, “You have not given us clear cut answers and you are saying you are recently appointed in fact you don’t have a presentation which is against the rule. I suggest we call off the meeting and you stop all procedures of privatisation and we are going to report this to the House. It is a total violation of the BPE Act.”

The Group Executive Director, Refineries of the NNPC, Mr. Anibor Kragha during his submission told the committee that the NNPC was only seeking a joint venture in the management of the refineries not privatising it.

“NNPC does not have the mandate to privatise, it’s a misrepresentation, “he said.

But the lawmakers argued that the claimed joint venture agreement the NNPC is seeking has overtime failed the country.

On his part, the acting Director General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE, Mr. Vincent Akpotabie said the Bureau was not aware that the NNPC was making a move to privatise the refineries.

He explained that the immediate past administration of Goodluck Jonathan had begun preparing a framework for the privatisation of the refineries.

Nnenna.O