A former Group Managing Executive Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Engr Alexander Ogedegbe, on Wednesday, insisted that the NNPC is incapable of running the refineries in the country because all the staff that were trained and have the experiences are no longer there.
Ogedegbe disclosed this while fielding questions on Arise TV’s Morning Show.
He also said that he was in support of privatizing the refinery, adding that before the refinery is sold, the subsidies must be removed.
According to him, nobody will invest in a refinery, make products and sell them for half the price that Ghana or Cameroon is selling.
Ogedegbe said, “20 years ago, I was one of those advocates of repairing and refining the refineries. You are talking about the process of selling. It is more complicated than that.
“In 2017, I wrote a personal letter to the ministry of finance to talk about how to sell the refinery in a way that would be productive.
“Our report of 2012 shows exactly how it was supposed to be done. In order words, majority shareholdings with at least 25 – 30 percent of the government of the NNPC so that you can continue to get your dividends from proper production of refineries. But under the present circumstances, yes, the NNPC is incapable of running the refineries because all the staff that were trained and have the experiences are no longer there. That is one thing.
“So anybody that talks about privatizing the refinery, I am in support. However, it is not just about selling it to your friends and then nothing happens. But more importantly, before you sell a refinery, you must remove the subsidies. Nobody will invest in a refinery, make products and sell them for half the price that Ghana or Cameroon is selling. It is not possible it will go bankrupt just like the government has gone bankrupt in the refineries.
“The refineries have not been produced for five years, and we are paying staff several billion nairas every year. No private company can maintain that kind of facility. So just talking about this thing in the air, oh sell off the refinery it is not just the solution, it is to do it properly and how can you do it properly, the way you sold Eleme petrochemical is the way to do it properly.
“You get the investors coming in there, they use the existing staff there.”a