The Secretary General of National Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers (NUPENG) Elijah Okougbo has said that the Union will resist once again any move by the Federal Government to renovate the Port Harcourt refineries and sell it.
According to him, there is a strong indication by the government to dispose the nation’s moribund refineries which he noted have been epileptic at 30 per cent capacity.
Last week, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke said there was need to convene a special stakeholders' summit to tackle the issues surrounding the nation’s traditional refineries with a view to reaching a workable framework in line with the federal government’s vision for the downstream sector. According to her, the planned retreat would help galvanise and harmonise the various components needed to ensure the smooth operation of the refineries.
`` No doubt we have a lot of work to do but going forward within the next two weeks, we shall be having a retreat which would incorporate the perspectives of all the various stakeholders including heads of operations of all the refineries, NPDC, PPMC and of course all other stakeholders to fashion out a holistic approach within the period’’ she said.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the planned retreat will be an opportunity for the government to convince the stakeholders of the need for the government to dispose the ailing refineries to private operators. In this way, the refineries will be able to operate at full capacity. The NUPENG official agreed that the inability of the nation’s refineries to operate at full capacity had contributed to the current scarcity of fuel.