By Adewale Sanyaolu
The Nigerian Senate and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr.Ibe Kachikwu, have commended Oando’s willingness to participate in the rehabilitation process of the Port Harcourt refinery.
The Minister who appeared before the Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources yesterday, in Abuja said “We are very grateful for any company or companies that have shown an interest in the refinery rehabilitation efforts.”
Recall that the Senate initiated a hearing following misleading reports which indicated that the Port Harcourt refinery was due to be sold via a privatisation or concession exercise with Oando and Eni as the preferred consortium.
On his part, the Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Kabir Garba Marafa, said it acknowledged that Oando was quoted out of context and hopes that they understand that the committee was set up as a matter of oversight and in the interest of Nigerians because they represent Nigerians.
Marfa, however, advised Oando as a responsible company and good corporate citizen to guard its future statements in public, but applauded the fact that the minute they were misquoted by the media, they put out a statement to correct the misinformation
Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando Plc, Mr. Wale Tinubu, in a statement to Marafa to correct allegations regarding Oando’s supposed role in the privatisation of the Port Harcourt refinery said no mandate for the concession, sale, equity transfer or privatization of the Port Harcourt refinery or any of the nation’s refineries has been signed with Oando.
‘‘As a crude exporter and supplier of refined products to the country, it is intuitive and patriotic for us to be interested in the refurbishment and upgrade of the refineries. Our proposed participation as a local partner in this effort is an opportunity to drive the country forward and accelerate the process to see product security realized in this dispensation.
We share the vision of the Nigerian government to become a petroleum product self-sufficient country in the short to medium term, and ultimately be a net exporter. The Port Harcourt refinery remains a national asset, under the full control of the NNPC as far as we are aware,” Tinubu said.