Nigeria’s Federal Government has said it is in talks with some investors to give up majority stakes in its four refineries.

Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari disclosed this during a discussion programme on Channels Television on Wednesday.

He said the Federal Government wanted to implement an operating model in which the government-owned NNPC would be a minority shareholder in the assets, noting that the government wanted the LNG model for the refineries, where the private investors would operate and manage the refineries.

“It means there will be more scrutiny of shareholders and also becoming more efficient to operate. That conversation is on the table,” he said.

Kyari also explained that plans were underway to rehabilitate the four major refineries to start producing at maximum capacity. This plan is expected to place Nigeria as one of the world’s biggest exporter of petroleum products within the next 3 years.

According to him, the refineries, which have only worked sporadically for years due to severe underinvestment, would need serious repairs and refurbishment as against the routine Turn Around Maintenance (TAM).

He said that the pipelines which supplied crude oil to these 4 refineries in Kaduna, Warri and Port Harcourt were badly damaged. In the latest financial report that was released by NNPC, these refineries processed almost no crude in 13 months to June this year, even though they had an operating cost of about $367 million.

The NNPC had in April,said that it had shut down the refineries to secure funding for their refurbishment, and would no longer manage them when they reopened.