Kaduna — Managing Director of the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KPRC), Adewale Ladenegan, has said privatising the facility is not the best option of maximising its potential.He made the assertion while speaking with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) who paid an oversight visit to the refinery.
Responding to a question posed by Chairman of the committee, Joseph Akinlaja, on whether privatisation of the plant, which has been grounded for almost a year is a viable option, he said the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and Nigerian Telecommunication Company (NITEL), which had been privatised, have not yielded the desired results.He lamented that the decision only made the country poorer and rendered many Nigerians jobless.
Ladenegan said the plant only needed adequate financing, adding that upgrading its obsolete equipment to electronic operations and robust management would ensure its optimal operation."I will say no to privatisation, because we have not seen the positive results of all the nation's assets that have been privatised. If you give the refinery to those who have the money, they will still use the same people to run it.
"I will rather prefer the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) option where everybody will contribute and there will not be a single person controlling the refinery as we manage it. It is only then that we will get better results as and when due.
"This will take care of the country's investment because Nigerians will be managing the refinery and not that people will be brought from India to replace Nigerians," he said. Ladenegan, who argued that the plant has not been upgraded since it was established in 1982, added that the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) was last carried out in 2008 and that the KRPC needed the kind of funds invested in the NLNG to enable it perform optimally.
Responding, Akinlaja said they visited the plant on oversight function and assured that the committee would ensure that adequate measures were taken to revive the plant.He said the National Assembly needed to know the current status and production capacity of the plant, adding that they also needed to know the plant's labour force, as well as how it was being maintained to enable the committee identify areas that need intervention.
He, however, expressed concern that in spite of the refineries in the country, Nigeria was still producing crude but importing fuel for local consumption. Akinlaja also assured of the committee's preparedness to ensure that adequate funds were allocated to the plant in the 2019 budget.