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Update: Private firms to finance Nigeria’s refineries’ rehabilitation – NNPC

By Michael Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Wednesday, stated that the rehabilitation of the country’s three refineries would be financed by private investors and companies.

A picture taken on September 16, 2015 shows workers trying to tie a pipe of the first refinery in Nigeria, which was built in 1965 in oil rich Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The Port Harcourt refinery is Nigeria’s oldest, built in 1965, nine years after crude was first found under the marshy soil and creeks of the delta, where the Niger river meanders to the Gulf of Guinea. Refineries in nearby Warri and Kaduna in the north central region were built in the years that followed, while a new plant was added to the same site in Port Harcourt in 1989. In recent years, however, it became a byword for corruption, a murky, state-run body where billions of dollars in revenue apparently disappeared. AFP PHOTO

The NNPC, in a statement in Abuja, signed by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said already, it has received over 28 Expressions of Interest for the financing of the rehabilitation project and that the goal was to get more by the end of the year.

According to the the statement, Chief Operating Officer, Refineries and Petrochemicals, Mr. Anibor Kragha, disclosed this during the inauguration of eight committees by the NNPC, charged with returning the refineries to their nameplate capacities by the year 2019.

Kragha explained that the 2019 target was set because for the first time in 20 years there was both the political will and the economic climate to ensure effective retrofitting of the refineries.

He assured that the country would not suffer financially from the project, declaring that the approved financial model would guarantee payment to partners only from incremental profits.

He said, “Payment is therefore hinged on performance, ensuring a win-win situation for Nigeria.”
Also speaking while inaugurating the committees, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, charged them to deploy out of the box solutions to ensure that the refineries return to their good old days of top class performance.

He explained that in executing the assignment, the committees were expected to deliver well and within schedule especially as time was of the essence.

He noted that although the target for the refineries rehabilitation was to return them to 90 per cent capacity utilization before the end of 2019, with more commitment from the committees, 100 per cent capacity utilization was achievable.

He said, “I am convinced that the teams we have selected here today will give the necessary direction towards returning the refineries back to their optimal levels of performance.

“We want to show everyone that we can fully run the refineries. You must all work together to operate them at 100% capacity as this was the only way to ensure profitability.”

Baru also emphasized the importance of the workforce as according to him “we can fix the refineries but without the right people to operate them, they would go back to where they were or even worse”.

Speaking on behalf of the committees, the Chief Financial Officer of the NNPC, Mr. Isiaka Abdulrazaq, reminded members of the newly inaugurated Committees that the rehabilitation of the refineries was one of the targets of the President Buhari administration.

Abdulrazaq expressed hconfidence in every member of the committees to deliver on their various tasks.
The NNPC said the Committees inaugurated for the rehabilitation of the refineries would be be headed by a Steering Committee, chaired by Baru.

Other Committees, the statement noted are Rehabilitation; Stakeholder Management; Financing; Legal; Procurement; Pipeline and Crude Oil Supply and Security as well as Staffing and Succession Planning.


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