“We can decide to go to the stock exchange or open it for people to buy the shares.”
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, says the federal government has badly managed Nigeria’s refineries, calling it a bad manager.
He said, “What we want to do is to ensure that these refineries are functioning. So, if it is functioning, the first thing we want to do is not to run the refineries as a government.
“We agreed that government is not a good manager. So, we want to put an operations and management contractor, professional managers of refineries.”
Mr Sylva stated this at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
On the refineries’ rehabilitation, he pointed out that the government had been able to source funds to ensure that the refineries are revamped and functional.
He added that it was unfortunate that the refineries in the country had been like a “weeping baby” but noted that the government believed that there was the need for it to be functional before taking any direction.
The minister said it would be difficult to sell the refineries in their current state.
“At some point, we will put out advertisement for professional refinery managers to bid for managing the refinery. So, when it begins to work, it will be given to a professional manager to run.
“It is not going to be subject to government issues anymore, again, when it begins to work, Nigerians will decide if we should sell it or not,” Mr Sylva explained.
He added, “There are a lot of options open to government. We can decide to go to the stock exchange or open it for people to buy the shares. Every option will be available, but at least, it will be a functional refinery.”
The rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery commenced on May 6 by Maire Tecnimont SPA, an Italian company.