Atedo Peterside, founder of Stanbic IBTC and Anap Foundation, says the Port Harcourt refinery in Rivers state generated no revenue in 2019 yet incurred processing and administrative costs of N47 billion during the same period.
On March 17, the federal executive council (FEC) approved the sum of $1.5 billion for rehabilitation of the refinery.
Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum, said the rehabilitation will be done in three phases of 18, 24 and 44 months.
Peterside accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of pushing the country into a financial mess. According to him, it is preferable that the refinery is sold to qualified investors.
“In 2019, PH Refinery contributed zero revenue, but incurred costs of N47bn; almost N4bn a month! Instead of ending this nightmare through a #BPE core investor sale, NNPC wants to enmesh Nigeria into a deeper financial mess by throwing $1.5bn (incl. debt) at a problem it created?”
He added that the contract will be awarded to Tecnimont SPA, an Italian company.
Peterside had earlier asked the federal government to halt the repair of the refinery and subject the process to “an informed national debate”.
The FG is planning to sell or concession the nation’s refineries, according to a Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) document submitted to the national assembly.