The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has insisted on the adoption of the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) model for running the nation’s four refineries.
The NLNG is an incorporated joint venture owned 49 percent by the Nigeran government represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC); 25.6 percent by Shell Gas B.V; 15 percent by TotalEnegies Gaz & Electricité, and 10.4 percent by Eni International N.A. N.V. S. àr.l
The ownership structure allows for an independent board and effective management of the NLNG devoid of bureaucracy. This has made it one of the most profitably run companies in the gas sub-sector of the Nigerian petroleum industry.
PENGASSAN’s insistence on the adoption of the model comes as Africa’s largest economy and one of the world’s top producers of crude oil, continues to rely on imported petroleum products to run its struggling economy.
In the last two decades, the nation’s four refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna have refined little or nothing, and neither added value to the nation’s economy. This has spurred calls from many quarters, including members of the organised private sector on the government to sell them off.
But the oil workers’ union is of the strong view that the four refineries can be made to work and produce to their installed capacity if the NLNG model were to be adopted, with the government holding 49 percent equity and 51 percent owned by private investors, who will run the affairs of the refineries.
Festus Osifo, president of PENGASSAN, who re-stated the association’s position at its 7th triennial delegates conference in Abuja, said with the NLNG model and an enabling environment for the establishment of more modular refineries, Nigeria can rise above its challenge of inadequate product supply.
“We commend the current NNPC management led by Mallam Mele Kyari for the bold steps towards a workable approach to bringing back on stream the ailing refineries and effort being put in place for the operations and maintenance strategy that may eventually bring about the desired change in the operations of the refineries.
“But we will continue to advocate for the adoption of the NLNG model in the running of the nation’s refineries when fully revamped, and an enabling environment for the establishment of modular refineries. With the Dangote refinery coming on board, there will be a significant impact on the fuel supply dynamics, including easing pressure on the economy, especially when combined with the ongoing revamping of the three refineries (those in Port Harcourt and Warri) in the country,” Osifo said.
Osifo, who also raised concern about the general insecurity in the country, said it was one of the reasons why the rehabilitation of the Kaduna refinery was yet to start.
He, therefore, called on the incoming Federal Government to be led by Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the president-elect to, upon resumption of office, immediately review and rejig the nation’s security architecture, provide more funding and shift away from a reactionary approach to focusing on intelligence gathering to halt bloodletting and rebuild the confidence of Nigerians in their country.
Osifo said the incoming must also address the issue of multiple exchange rates to reduce pressure on businesses and prioritise agriculture so as to create jobs for Nigerians.