Port Harcourt refinery not concessioned yet, says Kachikwu

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu has debunked the report that one of Nigeria’s refineries at Port Harcourt has been concession to Oando and Agip.

Kachikwu who spoke at a news briefing in Abuja on Thursday said the technical committee set up by the Federal Government to undertake the review and selection process was yet to submit its report.

He said the committee has not selected any company even though some firms have shown interest.

The minister also stated that Nigeria needs about $1.2 billion to repair the three refineries of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

“We need about 1.2 billion dollars to repair and bring the three refineries of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna, up to 100 percent production level”, he said.

Kachikwu added that the cost of the project had been determined in terms of the extent of work required.

“The total cumulative amount is in the 1.1 billion dollars and 1.2 billion dollars category between all the refineries. And that, of course, does not include the pipelines.

“You have got to address the pipelines and that is something else that is being done”, he noted.

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He explained that Nigeria spent about N4.74 trillion on the importation of petrol in the past year which was 30 percent of the total foreign exchange outlay of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“The importation of petroleum products between January and December of last year amounted to about 20 million metric tonnes.

“A total amount of N3.4 trillion was spent, the consumption of FX from CBN was approximately 30 percent of CBN total FX outlay, and the logistic costs of that importation was about N1.34 trillion within the same one-year period”‎, he added.

Nigeria has spent N264 billion on maintenance of its four refineries since 1999 when the country returned to democracy. Whenever the refineries manage to resume production after a lengthy repair work, they hardly work for up to 90 days before they are shut down and the purported maintenance cycle continues.