Analysts in the oil and gas industry have called on the federal government to divest 75 percent of its 100 percent super majority shareholding, ownership and control of the refineries to competent and resourceful investors in the private sectors.
The experts said doing so was one surest way to get the four refineries back to function optimally at their combined nameplate capacity of 445,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).
An oil and gas consultant Mr. Michael Awodeyin in a presentation at a media and CSO workshop said the recommendation for the divestment was the outcome of a research “Reducing Losses from Refinery Operations,” carried out by Dr. Ibilola Amao, Engr. Alex Ogedegbe and Dr. Uyiosa Omoregie.
They recommended that the federal government adopt similar ownership transfer structure used for the transfer of Eleme Petrochemical Company to INDORAMA in 2005.
Awodeyin said when the refineries function optimally, they will make sufficient petroleum products available for local consumption.
The experts in the research suggested that for the smooth shareholding transfer process, the federal government should engage the service of
competent consultants on the valuation of the assets of the refineries and supervisory sale of the refineries to work with the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE).
They also suggested a transparent and fair bidding round managed by independent advisors under the supervision of BPE.
They added that the government should “appoint a Post Privatization Performance Monitoring Team comprising of BPE officials and independent consultants to checkmate the activities of investors and track performance of the refineries.”
Speaking earlier on a separate report on reducing oil theft, the Outcome Lead, Industry Restructuring, Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) Mr. Michael Faniran said the report was part of many studies the NNRC has done to ensure that revenue leakages to government were reduced and corruption curbed in the oil sector.