More oppositions to the proposed rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery by the federal government have continued to thicken as more eminent Nigerians and corporate organizations are commenting on the issue.
Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, has said that more information is needed to justify the rehabilitation of the refinery.
Similarly, former Vice president, Atiku Abubakar, vice presidential candidate in the 2019 elections, Peter Obi, Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, among others have criticised the prposed project, saying besides being too costly, say it is an unwise decision economically to rehabilitate the seemingly moribund and unviable refinery.
Others say the refineries have become drain pipes and chess of corruption for successive governments and opted Privatisation as best alternative.
The Federal Executive Council had on March 17 approved $1.5 billion for the rehabilitation of the refinery which is said to commence immediately.
Timpre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum had told journalists in Abuja that the first phase will be completed in 18 months which takes the refinery to a production of 90 per cent of its capacity, the second phase will be completed in 24months, while the final phase will be completed in 44months.
But Fayemi who spoke on Friday during an interview on Channels Television’s Hard Copy, faulted the planned project, noting that a private refinery built by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote is underway.
“I wouldn’t have taken that decision given the fact that we know that a big refinery, private-sector driven is coming on stream but I don’t have the information that led to that decision at first,” he stated.
“When you are outside a decision-making frame, there is some information that may not be available to you if you look at it at the pure face value. It may not be justifiable but we don’t have all the information responsible for that decision.”
The contractor approved by the Federal Government to repair tha ailing refinery is an Italian E and EPC company who won the bid to handle the rehabilitation project.
Channels Television gathered that the maintenance which is a recurring challenge for the nation’s refineries was elaborately discussed in the Federal Executive Council two days ago as the Federal Government intends employing a professional to manage the refinery after the rehabilitation.