Uche Usim and Adewale Sanyaolu, Abuja
The Federal Government yesterday dashed hopes of early rehabilitation of the Warri and Kaduna refineries which had been on the pipeline for sometime.
Instead, it said it would be commencing rehabilitation works on the 210,000 barrels per day (bpd) Port Harcourt refinery before the end of the first quarter of 2020.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, stated this during a media briefing with journalists at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit.
The Minister explained that he had advised against having the rehabilitation of all the three refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna simultaneously.
He said there was no timeline yet for the othertwo even as he assured they will commence immediately after completion of works on Port Harcourt refinery.
‘‘I cannot give a timeline when repair works will commence on the other two refineries. But definitely, we will come back to them at a later date’’
‘‘During our strategy meetings with the NNPC, I advised them against starting the rehabilitation of the three refineries’ at once so that we don’t appear to be biting more than we can chew, hence the temporary suspension of repair works on Warri and Kaduna refineries’. So Port Harcourt refinery will come first before the others,’’ he said
On Niger Delta Development Commission, the Minister said it was regrettable that the region has not witnessed the level of development it should have considering the huge investments that have been made by the Federal Government.
He said the creation of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has not translated to the desired level of development, urging its management to do more for the region and its people.
He said the Federal Government had as part of efforts to ensure that the region witnessed significant development created the NDDC, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and provision of 13 per cent oil derivation for oil producing states.
Regrettably, he said all these institutions have not in anyway translated to improving the fortunes of the people because the region is highly volatile.
Sylva however, warned that unless the people desist from making the region hostile, efforts of Government to turnaround the fortunes of the region may not translate to wealth for the people. He noted that only an industrialised region would bring about collective wealth for the people because such investments would be capable of employing its teeming youth.
He assured that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources under his watch would ensure that major Final Investments Decision(FID), especially on Bonga South West and Brass fertilizer would be taken in no distant time.