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Minister of Information, Labaran Maku has disclosed why the federal government did not proceed on its initial plan to sell the nation’s refineries, saying the plan was shelved to ensure the stability of the political environment. It would be recalled that NUPENG and PENGASSAN led the fight against the proposal with a threat of embarking on strike late last year.

Making a reference to the protests that greeted the deregulation of the pump prices of petroleum products on January 1, 2012, Maku said the said there was a need for all critical stakeholders to appreciate the need for the sale of the refineries, so as to prevent a repeat of a brand of protest that happened in January 2012.

“We have a huge challenge winning citizens to appreciate that the deregulation will be to the advantage of the economy and the welfare of the citizens. In every political system, unless the people are won over, even when your policies are right, you can create a major problem as we saw in January 2012 when we brought up the issue of deregulation. The media, the civil society, political organisations and everybody was up in arms against the government. You have to weigh the options. Stability is very crucial to the realisation of national objectives,” he said