• Monday, May 27, 2024
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NECA urges FG to commence privatisation of refineries

omega-refineries

Organised Private Sector (OPS) under the aegis of  Nigeria’s Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Thursday in Lagos, charged the Federal Government to begin the process of privatising the nation’s four refineries, as well as resume national debate on the removal of subsidy on oil in the face of shrinking oil prices in the international market.

The reality according to NECA is that Nigeria cannot continue for too long to play politics with the wellbeing of its economy, insisting that the private sector must be empowered and encouraged to create jobs, in order to check the rising unemployment rate in the country and attendant social implications. The OPS said the refineries which are under-performing can be turned around if privatized thereby creating jobs for Nigerians.

Olusegun Oshinowo, the Director General of NECA, stating the position of the OPS on some key national issues, at a forum with the media, in Lagos, also stoutly condemned overbearing regulation by some Federal Government agencies, citing for example, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), which the OPS accused of indulging in practices that stifle businesses, such as compelling private investors to bear the costs of its operations, a development the DG described as an aberration in any economy.

“Why should protecting consumers be at the expense of private enterprise?  Oshinowo queried, adding that over time, CPC had been demanding manufacturers to re-register products already registered and certified by the National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) which amounts to duplication of functions. He while NECA was not against protecting consumers, the cost of doing so must not be shift to private enterprises which are already overburdened by taxes and other levies paid to the government. “The Federal Government must fund its agencies,” the DG insisted. 

The OPS also picked holes in the bill currently with the National Assembly which aims to put policy in place for social security net for the vulnerable categories of citizens which requires private enterprises to contribute from their profits to fund the scheme.  He cautioned against passing the bill into without wider consultation with the stakeholders including members of the OPS and organised labour which should made their contributions on best to formulate a policy on social social benefits to the vulnerable.

JOSHHUA BASSEY