The Integrity Youth Alliance has called on the Peoples Democratic Party former Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar to follow the part of individuals like Aliko Dangote by building Refineries instead of condemning the effort of the Buhari’s administration in making the Refineries to work again after years of abandonment by previous government including the administration under which Atiku was a Vice President.
According to a press release on Sunday, 28th March, 2021 signed by the Secretary General of Integrity Youth Alliance, Danjuma Lamido, he said that since the announcement by the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday, 17th March, 2021 of the Rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery Company Ltd and the approval of the sum of $1.5 billion, Atiku Abubakar has been condemning the moves.
“We want to know the interest of Atiku Abubakar on the Refineries. Is he behind the several failed Turn Around Management (TAM) of the Refineries? What is his interest in the sales of Nigeria’s major Assets?
It will be recalled that Atiku in a reaction to the Bloomberg Business Report of Saturday, March 27, 2021 that Nigeria is to emerge as the nation with the highest unemployment rate on Earth, at just over 33 per cent, reiterated that “rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery is ill-advised”
Danjuma reminded Atiku that it is instructive to note that this rehabilitation is different because interested parties who benefit from the age-long importation largesse will potentially be out of business by the time the rehabilitation is completed.
On privatizing the Refineries, Danjuma said, “Our point is you do not sell a refinery that is not functioning. It is not every sale that led to success. Ajaokuta Steel plant was sold but it did not make any difference. The people who bought it only tried to break it apart and then try to sell it off.
“So therefore, if you sell a refinery that is not working, the buyer might just decide to break it apart and then sell it off.
“Atiku should understand that when the refinery is working at full capacity, the government will then take a decision what to do with it; either to sell it off to private sector or to privatize it.
“Whatever government wants to do with it will be done after the rehabilitation as the Buhari’s administration want to give Nigerians a functional refinery first, Danjuma reiterated.
Danjuma reminded Atiku that there are quite a number of benefits in bringing the nation’s refineries back on stream. From satisfying local energy demand, growing the nation’s GDP, to strengthening the Naira by reducing the demand for Forex to creating thousands of jobs across the value chain (crude supply, operating and maintaining the refinery, product supply etc) including several third-party contractors that will supply outsourced services or goods, the advantages are huge.
The Group reiterated that unlike what is obtained in the past, the current refineries rehabilitation project is different for the following reasons: It consists of a governance structure that includes key independent external stakeholders: Ministry of Finance, NEITI, ICRC, PENGASSAN and NUPENG; Unlike the regular TAM, this rehabilitation will involve comprehensive repairs of the plant with significant replacement of critical equipment to ensure that the plant’s integrity is maintained for a minimum of ten years; It is funded through part-loan and part-government, with the financiers actively monitoring the execution of the project and KBR and NETCO are acting as NNPC Engineers who will be supervising the EPC contract to ensure that the project is delivered on schedule, within budget and at the right quality.