There are strong indications that top Nigeria Iinvestors are pushing and lobbying the new administration to sell Kaduna and Warri Refineries by early next year as there are likelihood that both refineries will not meet the three month deadline set for the refineries by the new Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Director, Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachukwu.
Kachikwu, had reaffirmed recently while responding to questions from Senators during his ministerial screening that refineries in the country performing below 65 per cent of capacity would be shut down in December, 2015.
Though Kachukwu said that he had wished that all the refineries are working optimally “We must make all the FCCUs (Fluid Catalytic Cracking Units) and the fuel sections to work efficiently in the next three months so that Nigerians will continue to enjoy uninterrupted supply of petroleum products,” he said.
According to him NNPC plans are that more refineries be built by private investors. But industry source said that top Northern businessmen are still angling that Kaduna refinery in particular be sold to them as a precursor to building other private refineries in the North.
But at his recent visit to Kaduna refinery, the GMD had reassured the management of Kaduna refineries that government will do everything within its resources to make the refineries work at full capacity. He said that the plant would soon experience a turn around that would make it commercially viable and sustainable in view of the level of energy being invested to accelerate the effort to give it the desired face lift.
“You will soon have a different company. We must leave no stone unturned in our determination to put the plant on the path of profitability. We must make the company a success,” the GMD told the staff and management after the tour.
Although he noted that the challenges currently militating against the operations of the refineries were huge, Mr. Kachikwu declared they were not insurmountable.