The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Wednesday, warned that Nigeria’s continued protection of its petroleum refineries in Kaduna; Warri; and Port Harcourt, from reforms to improve their productivity would eventually lead to huge job losses and assets’ degradation, THISDAY reports.

Kachikwu explained at a conference of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) in Abuja, where he represented Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, that once the federal government succeeds with its push to have more private investors build and operate refineries in the country, the three refineries operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) could become obsolete and jobs would be lost.

He further noted that if nothing was done to revive the refineries, they could become obsolete in the next four years. “The reality is that we want the private sector players to begin to build their own refineries. Whatever it is we are protecting would disappear. Unless we begin to move very rapidly and very quickly to position these refineries in such a way that they can compete, we would lose the refineries completely, together with all the job skills that exist in those areas,” he said.