NUPENG President Comrade Igwe Achese who disclosed this in Lagos, stressed that statements by Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Deziani Alison-Madueke that refineries must be privatised were uncalled for.
Achesi said the development is a diversion and point to the failure of the ministry to address the perennial problem of scarcity of petroleum products being experienced in the country.
He said NUPENG will resist attempts by the federal government to renege on an agreement signed with unions on January 7, 2014 in Abuja which stipulated that refineries will not be privatised.
According to Achesi, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) reached at that meeting with the federal government and the two trade unions in the oil and gas sector, NUPENG and PENGASSAN agreed that stakeholders should engage in social dialogue to develop viable and workable business models for the nation’s refineries.
He noted that billions of naira had been budgeted and purportedly spent on the Turn-Around-Maintenance (TAM) of the refineries with nothing to show for it.
“The union believes that the transformation agenda of Mr. President on job creation should be enhanced by allowing interested investors set up private refineries, like the Alhaji Aliko Dangote example in free trade zone in Ondo/Ogun states, which will generate about 85,000 jobs.
“We warn that the union will not guarantee industrial peace and harmony if the threat by the minister to privatise the refineries is carried out by the government, when it should spearhead the establishment of mini and mega refineries to complement what we already have and make sure the old ones are rehabilitated,” he said.