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PENGASSAN plans private refinery with other unions

By Guardian Nigeria
30 September 2009   |   1:53 am
THE Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), is set to bid for a refinery licence in the country, going by a statement from its National President, Mr Babatunde Ogun.

Ogun told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in a telephone interview that the union would collaborate with other unions like National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Trade Union Congress and other interest groups to achieve the target.


He said that the decision was borne out of the recent announcement by the Federal Government that it had removed the mandatory $1 million deposit placed on investors wishing to establish private refineries in the country.

Last year, the union had expressed interest in one of the nation’s refineries, but its effort was scuttled when the Federal Government stopped the sale of the refineries.

Ogun said that the current effort of government had automatically paved the way for the unions to own a refinery with a view to solving the nation’s perennial shortage of petroleum products.

He said that PENGASSAN, in collaboration with the other unions, would raise funds for the bid through the various union members.

He, however, urged the Federal Government to back its statement with action as the nation could not afford to be perpetually locked in energy crisis.

Ogun said that as a follow up to the removal of the $1 million deposit for potential private refinery owners, the government should fashion out laws that would make it a crime to import petroleum products into country.

He said that the development would arrest the spate of importation as well as assure patronage for local refiners and marketers of petroleum products.

“The country currently imports over 90 per cent of petroleum products consumed due to the abysmal performance of Nigeria’s four refineries in recent time.

“But the government says with effect from November this year deregulation of downstream sector would commence in full form, thereby giving room for the removal of petroleum subsidy, which government said had not been beneficial to all,” he said.