The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, says the Federal Government decision to acquire 20 per cent equity stake in all private refineries is to guarantee energy security and stability in the country.
Sylva disclosed this when he received an award from a group called “Corruption Reporter,” on Thursday in Abuja.
The award was conferred on him in recognition of his achievements through his fight against corruption and the pursuit of transparency and accountability in the petroleum industry.
Recall that the Federal Government recently announced plans to acquire a minimum of 20 per cent equity stake in Dangote Refinery and other private refineries to be established in the country.
“Acquiring stakes in Dangote Refinery and other private refineries was a strategic decision by the government to get involved in the running of these important assets and not allow them completely in the hands of private individuals.
“Particularly in the absence of strategic security reserves to deploy if the private individual decided, maybe for political reasons, not to supply fuel.
“If the refinery is left in the hands of individuals who support the opposition, they can cause fuel scarcity and trigger a nationwide crisis that can destabilise the country.
“Government should have stakes in the private refineries to protect the citizens interest and ensure national stability at all times,” he said
He further said that government should acquire even higher stakes than the proposed 20 per cent, as it was important to protect its people and ensure stability.
“Today, petroleum products have to do with energy security and national stability. If there is fuel crisis, it can result in national instability in the society,” Sylva said.