Protest greets Nigeria’s $1.5bn fund for Port Harcourt Refinery Maintenance

Stakeholders declare plan Wasteful, describe Nigeria as a massive theater of comedy and waste of fund


Nigerians have protested the approval of $1.5 billion by the Nigerian Government for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery, declaring it as a wasteful investment of little or no economic value.

The resources, they said, should have been put into reviving the nation’s dilapidated infrastructure .

Director-General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry,Dr. Muda Yusuf, said sectors like power,security and railway would make meaning use of $1.5billion that rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery which had for years undergone turn around maintenance without any impact on the nation.

According to him,the refinery should be sold to the private sector in their current state and allow same to bring the facility alive.

Chief Martin Onovo,a petroleum engineer and one-time presidential aspirant under the banner of National Conscience Party, said that the current administration lacks integrity to bring the refinery alive.

According to him,the $1.5billion approved for the rehabilitation of the refinery was too much and leaves Nigerians whether the government is contemplating building new refineries with $1.5billion.

Chief Sunny Onuesoke, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chieftain and former Delta State Governorship aspirant, said the Federal Government’s approval of $1.5bn for the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt is a waste of tax payers money .

He wondered what it will cost to build a new refinery that the Federal Government has to sink $1.5b into repairs alone and admonished advised the government to sell the four refineries .

“Another rehabilitation? Why not sell off the old scraps that never worked and build new ones? Nigeria as a nation is a massive theater of comedy and waste of fund. Since the past years, we have been reading about millions of Dollars invested in rehabilitation or Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of the refineries but never heard they refined any fuel. In the past five years, the refineries have been producing just dust. It’s ridiculous for anyone to suggest that they will get it to 90% production level if rehabilitated. Nigerians should see this new approval for what it is as another waste of public fund,” he stated.

He suggested that the government should sell all the four refineries and use the fund to build one new refinery that will serve the nation efficiently instead of continuous waste of fund in the four refineries under the guise of rehabilitation or Turn Around Maintenance.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the sum of $1.5 billion for the rehabilitation of the largest refining company in the country, Port Harcourt Refinery.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said the rehabilitation will be done in three phases of 18, 24 and 44 months.

He said the contract was awarded to an Italian company, Technimont SPA, who are experts in refinery maintenance.

He explained that the funding has three components from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), budgetary allocations provisions and Afreximbank.

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