Nigerian government refutes plans to sell refineries

Helen Shok Jok, Hudu Yakubu, Abuja

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu at the 5th Triennial National Delegate Conference of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN)

The Nigerian government says it has no plans to sell any of the nation’s refineries as reported by some sections of the media.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu gave the clarification, while declaring open the 5th Triennial National Delegates Conference of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) in Abuja.

The minister lauded the synergy between members of the Association and government which he said had led to growth in the petroleum industry.

Dr. Kachikwu noted that PENGASSAN has contributed immensely to the stability and growth of robust industrial relations in the country demonstrating a very high sense of cooperation and maturity in the conduct of its affairs.

The minister enjoined the union to work with the government assiduously to tackle some of the challenges facing the oil and gas sector in the country.

The President of PENGASSAN, Comrade Francis Johnson called on government to make accessible to the union, the MoU it signed with its members on the three refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna.

“In addition, we seek that PENGASSAN AND NUPENG should be carried along at all stages of the process to ensure that labour related issues and job security is guaranteed. While we await the direction of investors in the three Refineries, we call on the government to ensure immediate rehabilitation of obsolete equipment in the plants”, he added.

Comrade Johnson then urged the government to always engage members of the Association before taking critical decisions that concern Nigeria’s oil and gas sectors.

As the ongoing reforms in the nation’s Oil and Gas industry progress, we should be more pragmatic and participatory in the process that is expected to culminate into a more profitable and robust industry,” he said.

The Minister of Labour and Employment Dr Chris Ngige urged members of the union to continue to maintain the industrial peace in the petroleum sector.

The theme of the 5th national conference is: Emerging Trends in the Oil and Gas Industry and its Impact on Labour Movement in Nigeria.

The two day event will see the election of new officials to run the affairs of the union for the next three years.