President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the commencement of the privatization of the nation’s four refineries- Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited (PHRC) I; Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited (PHRC) II; Kaduna Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited (KRPC) ; and Warri Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited (WRPC) by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).
A statement signed by Chigbo Anichebe, Head, Public Communications, BPE, said the move was in keeping with the Transformation Agenda, which seeks to catalyze and provide an enabling environment for the private sector to be the drivers of economic growth in the country.
The President was said to have also approved the constitution of a Steering Committee on the privatization process that involves all relevant stakeholder ministries and agencies.
The Steering Committee which is chaired by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, also has the Minister of Finance and coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Power; Minister of Labour and Minister of National Planning as members.
Others include the Minister of Mines and Steel Development; Minister of Justice/AGF; Chairman of the Extractive Sub Committee of the NCP; SA to the Vice President on Economy; Group Managing Director of NNPC, as well as Director General of BP.
The Group Executive Director (Refineries), NNPC; MDs of Refineries Scheduled for Privatization; and Director (Oil and Gas), BPE to serve as the secretary
The Steering Committee’s Terms of Reference will include among others, to avise the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) on the best way to privatize the refineries in a manner that would enhance the gains of the privatization programme and review the diagnostic reports and recommendations of the transaction advisors and make recommendations to the NCP.
The committee is also expected to propose modalities and make recommendations to NCP on labour matters to ensure the successful privatization of the refineries as well as generally oversee the process and make recommendations to NCP for the successful privatization of the refineries.
The committee will also be expected to carry out any other ancillary activities relevant to the attainment of the goals of the Federal Government in the reforms and privatization of the nation’s refineries.
The Director General, BPE, Benjamin Dikki, said that “the directives we have is to conduct the privatization process transparently, complying with due process and international best practice. We are expected to improve on the high standards set in the power sector transaction, which has received accolades all over the world as being very transparent.”
He added that further details on the transaction structure and time table will be announced after the meeting of the Steering Committee.