By Akinola Ajibola
The Federal Government has admitted that it is not in the best position to manage the nation’s refineries.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, stated this during his appearance on Thursday’s edition of Politics Today.
“I will agree with you that government is not the best manager of refineries and that is why this time, we are actually going to have professional managers to manage the refineries; we are not going to manage the refinery at all,” he said on the Channels Television programme.
Despite the submission, the minister believes it will not be out of place if the government gets the refineries working before taking appropriate decisions.
He explained that the government does not subscribe to the idea of selling off the refineries in their present condition as such action would be widely criticised by citizens.
‘The Fairest Thing’
Sylva stated, “We believe that we should get the refinery back to life before we decide on the option of whether we are going to privatise or sell all the refineries.
“If we try to sell the refineries which you call dead refineries, you will be the one first persons to say we are selling dead refineries to people.”
He said the Muhammadu Buhari administration cannot be blamed for the present state of the facilities as it inherited damaged refineries.
Despite this, he said the government has decided to prove to Nigerians that the refineries can be fixed and put back into working condition.
After the refineries have been fixed, the minister believes Nigerians can then decide what to do about them.
“We want to sell live refineries; refineries that are working and I think that is the fairest thing for the government to do and that is why we have decided to get all our refineries working.
“We want to prove to you that we can get these refineries working,” he said.