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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

PENGASSAN Advises FGN Against Deregulation Based On Imports

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The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has advised the Federal Government against deregulating the oil sector based on imports. Festus Osifo, president of PENGASSAN, said that while the organization has never opposed deregulation, it would not accept one based on importation.

“That is why our position to support the rehabilitation of the refineries is justified,” PENGASSAN National President Osifo said at a security awareness workshop organized by the union in Abuja. When Nigeria’s three refineries are fully restored and operating under the efficient private sector, the country would be ready for full deregulation.

“With the refineries coming on stream in the coming months, as well as the Dangote refinery, Nigeria would be self-sufficient in refined petroleum products very soon.” The PENGASSAN national president stated that the union applauds the federal government’s move to rehabilitate the country’s refineries. He PENGASSAN will advocate for refinery management by the private sector.

PENGASSAN, according to Osifo, will demand that the Federal Government renounce its stakes in the facilities and hand them over to the private sector following restoration. He suggested that the government adopt the public-private model used by Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas Ltd, in which the federal government owns a minority 49 % while the private sector owns 51 %.

“PENGASSAN has never advocated for the sale of refineries,” Osifo remarked. We’ve long argued for a public-private partnership in which the government is not involved in the day-to-day operations of the refineries. Why isn’t the federal government looking at adopting the LNG model, in which the government owns a minority of 49% and the private sector owns 51%? That model has shown to be highly effective.”

In response to the ongoing refinery repair, he declared, “PENGASSAN welcomes the refinery rehabilitation.” Once the rehabilitation work is completed, we will advocate for the government to divest from the refineries and hand them over to the private sector. If we sell the refineries in their current state, they will be scrapped. The money that the government will earn will be appropriate if the government improves the refineries and then divests.”

“A lot of our employees have been kidnapped,” the PENGASSAN national president complained. As a result, PENGASSAN is urging the federal and state governments to be aware of their obligations. They should sufficiently support the police and other security institutions. The money they provide to police stations to fuel their cars isn’t exactly lavish. Foreign direct investments in the oil and gas sector are moving due to security concerns.”

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