Sylva Says Port Harcourt Refinery Will Be Operational Within 18 Months

The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to completing the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery, saying it would be functional within 18 months.

“Port Harcourt Refinery will work, and certainly within the next 18 months,” the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva said in a monitored Channels Television programme.

The Minister equally added that the Nigerian government also plans to rehabilitate other refineries in the country, stressing that the move is not a waste of funds as believed in some quarters.

“There are plans to also fix the Warri Refinery and Kaduna Refinery and then we would get all those staff to work,” he added.

It will be recalled that the Federal Executive Council had on March 17 approved $1.5 billion for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery.

Speaking during the interview, Sylva debunked insinuations that the rehabilitation could have taken less than N500m.

“You see, Nigerians like to bandy figures,” Sylva stated. ” I can tell you, that that cannot be true. We are talking with the professionals.”

While many including members of the opposition have raised eyebrows over the funding for the project, with fears that borrowing for the rehabilitation would future mortgage the country’s future, he said borrowing will only form a part of the project.

“Let me tell you how this rehabilitation is going to be funded; it is not going to be all debts, we are not going to borrow all the monies that are going into the rehabilitation (project),” he added.

“Some of the money will come from NNPC’s internally generated revenue – from NPDC, some of it will come from the Federal appropriation, and just a little fraction will come from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).”

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