Port Harcourt refinery: South-South forum commends Buhari, Sylva

• Says it will augment shortfall in local supply

A group, South-south Emerging Leaders Forum (SELF) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari and
the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva over the approval of $1.5 billion for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery.

Speaking with journalists, on Wednesday, shortly after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, Honourable Sylva, disclosed that the rehabilitation will be done in three phases of 18, 24 and 44 months.

He further revealed that the funding of the repairs will be sourced from many components, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), budgetary provisions and Afreximbank.

National coordinator of the SELF, Barrister Benjamin Kolowei, in a statement said the move to fix the refinery would positively impact the economic activities in the South-south region. The Forum said rehabilitation of the refinery will stimulate massive direct and indirect employment for the people.

“Our forum received the news to fix Port Harcourt refinery with great joy. The move shows the commitment of the current administration to tackle the challenges facing our oil sector head-on.

“We believe that if the refinery starts operating at its capacity, it will improve a lot of economic activities in the South-south region especially and the country at large will benefit from the project.

“Specifically, there will be employment not only for the people of the region but Nigerians generally.

“We are happy that the administration has taken a bold step not only to fix the refinery but the operations and maintenance, which are the major issues considered in the approval.”

While commending the President and the Federal Executive Council for the approval, SELF singled out the Minister of State for Petroleum for “his dedication, commitment, hardship and vision to bring about a turn-around in the Nigerian oil industry.”

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