Chief Adegboyega Adegoke, Executive Director, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of OES Energy Services, has called on the Federal Government to privatise all refineries in the country.
He made the call on Thursday in Ibadan after being honoured as the distinguished personality of the year by the Oyo State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that Adegoke, a patron of the NUJ, Oyo State Council, is also the Ajia Balogun of Ibadanland.
Adegoke said that the privatisation of the refineries and full deregulation of the petroleum industry would go a long way in solving the problems revolving around the petroleum sector of the country.
He said that government needed to hands off the regulation of pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), saying such action would create avenue for competition among the major distributors.
Adegoke said that the money released regularly for maintenance of refineries without producing anything, could be diverted into the provision of other infrastructure.
He maintained that the late former President Umar Musa Yar’adua made mistake by reversing the privatisation of refineries done by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Adegoke said that Obasanjo did the right thing at the point of leaving when he privatised the refineries, saying the reversal drew the country backward for many years.
According to him, government should remove its hand completely from PMS the way it did with diesel.
“Government should remove its hand from the oil industry the way it was done in telecommunications sector.
“So it should remove its hands completely.
“Full deregulation means if you like you import from Russia, Israel, U.S. or UK.
“So, there will be competition similar to what happened in the telecommunications industry.
“Before these global system of mobile (GSM) networks were licenced, Nigeria Telecommunications Service (NITEL) was having a field day.
“I was begging for a line because the entire lines we had in Nigeria was 400,000. Now, we have millions.”
He said that government could not continue to spend huge amount of money on the refineries at the expense of other infrastructure.
“Government can’t also continue paying salary without doing anything. These are refineries that never produced for many years.
“Technology has gone beyond that level. We need to move on, so the best way is full privatisation of the refineries,” he said.
Adegoke appreciated the NUJ on the honour bestowed on him, saying it would spur him to do more for humanity.
“I feel good. I have always been part of them (newsmen). I take this as a catalyst. Something to energise me and to do more. It is good.
“It makes me feel great and it means they acknowledge and also appreciate what I have been doing,” he said.(NAN)