By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURTâ€” Governor Chibuike Rotimi Ameachi of Rivers State has called on the Federal Government to sell its refineries to private operators for effective management.
According to the governor, government has never been known to be productive in running businesses.
Amaechi, who made the appeal in Port Harcourt when members of the board and management of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, paid him a courtesy visit, noted that the refineries would be better run by private hands.
He explained that the Federal Government does not have any business owning refineries, as Government is not a good businessman, emphasizing that the reason people were not interested in investing in refineries in the country was because prices of petroleum products were regulated, and investors are scared of not recouping their money if spent in the sector.
â€œIf the prices of petroleum products are deregulated, many people, including the Rivers State Government, would build refineries and the products would be everywhere,â€ he stressed.
Responding to a plea for assistance to relocate occupants on the PPMC right of way, between Port Harcourt Refinery, Alesa Eleme and the Okrika jetty, the governor said government can only partner with them by providing the political will, while the company should bear the cost of relocation of affected persons, by paying for the properties since they allowed the encroachment on their land.
He, however, blamed the action of those building on pipelines right of way, on the inability of relevant agencies to stop them when necessary, urging such agencies to begin to act because the social consequence would be grave if not checked.
Chairman of the Board of the PPPRA, Senator Ahmadu Ali, earlier in his remark said he was in the state as part of his tour of facilities of the PPMC across in the country.
Senator Ahmadu Ali called for collaboration between his body, the state and oil bearing communities in securing pipelines in the region