…Says, “Late budget release delays progress”
By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The Management of Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company, KRPC, has rejected any plan(s) to privatise the refining company, saying it will amount to make the rich more richer and the poor more poorer.
The Managing Director, MD, of KRPC, Engr Adewale Ladenecan, who made the disclosure during a hot session with House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) in Kaduna, said Nigerians are yet to reap properly from dividends of privatization of past government-owned properties such as NITEL, MTEL and NEPA, among others.
While responding to questions fielded by Hon. (Dr.) Akinlaja J. Joseph, who is House Committee chairman on petroleum resources, and his members, on oversight function to KRPC, Wednesday in Kaduna, Engr Ladenecan explained that, aside vandalization, the pipelines and storage session responsible for supply of crude oil and refining products is a factor, while the refining plants and some of its units are down for over 10 years without any turnaround maintenance, and equipments therefore became obsolete.
According to him, rather than privatizing the company, the country should go with the same arrangement it has with Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG. He also complained of late released of budgetary to the company as well as release of cash for implementations.
He said a number of factors are responsible for inability to refine products, saying the plants are analog and not like that of Warri; and that, all the units of the plants need to be upgraded since they have been down for too long – since 1980 – as such continuous upgrading remains the answer.
The MD was emphatic that, funding is automatically the answer to improve the status of the company; otherwise they will be out of market especially that the US is pushing a lot into the circulation with the use of their modern technology in speeding up refining.
Earlier, leader of the team, Hon. Joseph, demanded to know why KRPC is not refining for over a year, and whether privatization remains the only idea or solution to continuous shutdown of the company, saying Nigeria cannot continue to rely on exportation of crude oil and importation of refined products.