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Petroleum Minister Denies Reported Concessioning Of Port Harcourt Refinery

Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu has denied the areported plan concessioning of the Port Harcourt refinery.

The Minister gave the clarification today during a public hearing by the senate ad-hoc committee looking into the planned concession of the Port Harcourt refinery to Agip/Eni and Oando.

National Assembly Correspondent Osaruonamen Ibizugbe reports.

While speaking, the Minister of Petroleum Resources Dr. Ibe Kachikwu said a technical committee has been set up by the government to undertake a review‎ stating that the committee is coming up with a holistic investment figure enough to fix the nation’s refineries.

‎He maintained that government will not sell or concession Nigeria’s oil refineries to private firms contrary to public speculations.

Kachikwu also denied the swapping method of payment that was earlier reported by some national dailies saying that he has no agreement with any company that the crude barrel should ‎be given in exchanged as form of payment.

He added that it is cost effective to build a new refinery than repairing the old refinery due to inability to get their spare parts.

The committee however, demanded the real cost of the concession to the nation as well as the real time frame of the concession.

From the revelation given by the Managing Director of Oando PLC through his media publication, it was made clear that there is an ongoing plan for the repair and maintainanc‎e of the Port Harcourt refinery.

The Senate had set up a seven-man ad-hoc committee to probe the $15 billion contract, and gave the members a mandate to inquest and reveal how and why such a deal was sealed and the criteria used to select Agip/ENI and Oando Plc as the beneficiaries of the concession agreement which is to maintain and operate the Port Harcourt Refinery.

The Upper Chamber had also ordered immediate stoppage of all processes and transactions on the planned concession of the Port Harcourt Refinery to the firms with a contractual term of $15 billion.

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