Oil workers under Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have cautioned the federal government over the proposed sale of the nation’s refineries to private investors next year.

General-Secretary, Comrade Isaac Aberare, who gave the warning in Lagos yesterday, said stakeholders in the oil sector must be involved for the sale to be successful.

He said the sale of the refineries is not the solution to the massive importation of petroleum products into the country but the problem is government’s blunt refusal to do the turn-around-Maintenance of these refineries over the years to make the function optimally.

A lot of intrigues, power play, selfish interest to protect the cabal importing fuel, he said, had come to play, leaving the equipment in the refineries to rot away.

He said, “more refineries should be established, in the model of the NLNG strategic partnering and more investors  given tax holidays and land to enable them construct new ones just like the initiative of the Dangote refinery instead of trying to sell the nation’s assets as scraps to their people.”

In addition to this, he said: ‘’The union wants the government to focus on how to curb oil theft in the pipelines and consider our proposal for the creation of a Pipelines Protection Agency that will be fully saddled with the protection of the nation’s over 3,570 trunk lines crisis-crossing the landscape.

‘’NUPENG also calls for the speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that is  before the National Assembly to address these challenges facing the oil and gas sector to bring about transparency and accountability and stop chasing shadows.’’

[Daily Trust]