It Is Better To Sell Port Harcourt Refinery – Atedo Peterside

22/03/2021 95 Views

The founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Atedo Peterside, has called on the Federal Government to shelve the rehabilitation and subject it to a national debate.

Taking to his official Twitter page, @atedopeterside, the entrepreneur said: “Federal Government should halt $1.5billion approval for repair of Port Harcourt Refinery and subject this brazen and expensive adventure to an informed national debate.”

Peterside said many experts preferred that the refinery is sold by Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to core-investors with proven capacity to repair it with their own funds.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, last week, had approved $1.5billion (about N575b) for the rehabilitation of the 32-year-old refinery.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, had explained, thereafter, that contract for the rehabilitation was awarded to an Italian firm, Tecnimont SPA, and would be executed in three phases. The first phase is expected to be completed within 28 months, Sylva said, adding that the second and third phases would be completed in 24 and 44 months.

Also, former President of Nigeria Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), Abiodun Adesanya, said that the ulterior motive might not be far from raising funds for the 2023 election.

“The $26.5billion spent altogether in trying to fix these refineries over the years have not yielded any results,” Adesanya lamented.

According to him, the timing of the announcement is largely seen as another fund raising mechanism for the 2023 election. “Public confidence that any of the refineries will work without selling them off to private sector is very weak.”

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