From Uche Usim, Abuja
The plan of reviving the Port Harcourt Refinery and Petrochemical Complex (PRPC) was consummated on Tuesday in Abuja with an official agreement signing ceremony between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the contractor, Maire Technimont SPA.
Speaking at the event, the Group Managing Director of the national oil company, Mr Mele Kyari, noted that over 7,000 staff of the national oil company agreed in unison to toe the path of totally retrofitting all government refineries, regardless of the inherent challenges, with a view to creating jobs and ending petroleum products import.
He revealed that a provision of $162.239 million has been made, even as he said that an escrow account will be opened in respect of the project in weeks ahead.
On public outcry over the cost and modalities of the rehabilitation, Kyari said that several stakeholders, offshore and onshore, were involved in the project.
“We dragged in several stakeholders like Ministry of Finance, ICRC, NEITI, labour unions, foreign technical partners and others. If we had anything to hide, we won’t do this. This is a great history for us. We are aware of the misgivings around cost, political compromises, etc. Those critics, if they were in charge, will hike cost and earn money they did not work for from the rehabilitation project.
If I see the MD of Technimont, I won’t recognise him because we did not deal based on personal connection.
“We acknowledge we made mistakes in the past with regards to Turn Around Maintenance (TAM). But this is not a TAM. Major procurement and construction are involved here. We’ve neglected these refineries and TAM procedures abused. This is retrofitting. Some parts will be replaced and others upgraded and these spendings will be published.
It’ll be different from others. There are so many interventions taking place. Today, we have a clearly defined scope. We know what’s wrong with it and what to fix.