Nigeria promises to rehabilitate and privatise oil refineries soon

Jul 07, 2004 02:00 AM

The Nigerian government has promised to rehabilitate and privatise the nation's four poor-performing state-run oil refineries soon.
Timiebi Koripamo-Agary, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, gave the assurance in a meeting with officials of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).
"We are here to find an acceptable solution to the rehabilitation and privatisation of the four refineries in the downstream petroleum subsidiaries," she said.

She said that other issues to be resolved were the Pension Act, Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), some labour complaints and how to achieve lasting fuel price stability in the oil and gas industry. The PENGASSAN and UPENG had stated that they would during the grace period embark on series of actions that would culminate into a full blown strike.
They called on the BPE to follow due process in privatising the refineries and called for a legislation to correct the market fluctuations that led to incessant fuel price increases. They also called on the National Assembly to ensure that substantial part of the current crude oil windfall was reinvested in new refineries. They further suggested that companies in the oil and gas sectors that ran effective pension schemes should be exempted from the new contributory pension scheme.

The meeting reportedly would dwell on how to effectively tackle the repairs of the refineries, given the threat of the workers to down tools in both upstream and downstream sectors.
NUPENG and PENGASSAN threatened to launch a " warning" strike in protest the government's plan to privatise the four poor-performing state-run oil refineries.

Source: Xinhua News Agency
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