Reps investigates $1.5bn Port Harcourt refinery fund, as Buhari may not complete rehabilitation before quitting office

March 24, 2021
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The House of Representatives has commenced investigation into the $1.5billion approved last week by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in Abuja it is the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery in Rivers State. The House, therefore, directed the Committee on Petroleum Resources Downstream to conduct through investigation on the state of the Port Harcourt refinery the Federal Government has approved $1.5billion for the rehabilitation. The time frame of the rehabilitation indicates that President Muhammadu may not complete the rehabilitation of the refinery before the end of his tenure in 2023. The 44 months specified for the rehabilitation would spread beyond 2023.

The Lower Chamber of the National Assembly further directed the Committee to conduct comprehensive audit of funds disbursed over the years for the maintenance of the Port Harcourt refinery and other refineries in the country.

Representative Onofiok Luke had moved a motion of public importance in the House which led to the resolution on extensive investigation into the financial disbursements of the federal government on the moribund refineries.

The federal lawmakers argued that so much had been spent on maintaining and rehabilitating the refineries, but the outputs have seldom improved.

The House of Representatives, therefore, requested the Federal Government to grant licenses and provide incentives for the construction and operation of modular refineries in the country.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, on disclosing, after the Federal Executive Council meeting last week, the approval of $1.5 billion for the rehabilitation of the immediate Port Harcourt refinery, highlighted that the rehabilitation will be done in three phases.

The first phase, the minister said,  will be completed in 18 months, that is one and a half years, which will take the refinery to a production of 90 per cent of its capacity; the second phase will be completed in 24 months, that is in two years, while the final phase will be completed in 44 months, over three and a half years.

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