The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is considering giving up majority stakes in the nation's four refineries.

The government's running of all of its four refineries has been criticised over the years over non-performance.

Despite producing little to no fuel over the years, the refineries have cost the government billions of naira in losses.

NNPC's Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, said during an interview on Channels TV on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 that the state-owned corporation is partnering with the private sector to improve operations of the refineries.

He said the government does not have the resources to completely fund the refineries, and will resort to private capital as a result.

"That is why we are going to install an operate and maintenance strategy which will free NNPC from direct responsibility of running these refineries.

"We'll support the processes and ultimately, you'll have a more efficient process of running," he said.

He said there are conversations already happening about installing a model that involves the government becoming minority shareholders in the refineries.

"Of course, it means that there will be more scrutiny of shareholders, and also becoming more efficient to operate," he said.

Kyari said the refineries were shut down months ago because they were functioning below capacity.

He said this was caused by the activity of pipeline vandals, and the need to rehabilitate the facilities to make the refineries more effective.

He said, "Typically, every refinery is expected to operate at 90% of its installed capacity.

"With the best of effort, with all the turnaround maintenance that has taken place, it is impossible to run any of the refineries before the shutdown at that level.

"Our estimate was to run it at 60% of capacity but if you do that, all you are doing is value destruction."

He said the refineries must be kept alive to guarantee energy security in the country.

The NNPC boss said the corporation is also encouraging other private partners to establish refineries to make oil exportation easier.