Port Harcourt Refinery to Start Operation Before Year-end

The Senate Ad-Hoc Committee to Investigate Nigeria’s Refineries’ Turnaround Maintenance says the Port Harcourt Refinery will open by December.

Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara has indicated that his government is working with President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government’s Renewed Hope Agenda to improve national lives.

Fubara said the Woji-Aleto-Alesa-Refinery Road, already 70% built, will avoid the East-West Road and make it easier to reach the Port Harcourt Refinery.

Senate Ad-Hoc Committee to Investigate the Turnaround Maintenance of Nigeria’s Refineries members, headed by Chairman Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, paid him a courtesy call at Government House in Port Harcourt on Friday.

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Nelson Chukwudi said this in Port Harcourt on Saturday.

The governor said government should simplify life. It pleased him that the Senate Committee’s inquiry will simplify and enrich Nigerians’ lives.

The statement read, “We, as a state, before the commencement of the rehabilitation job, had a contribution that we wanted to make to support the work at the refinery because of the deplorable state of the East-West Road.

“There is a road: Woji-Aleto-Alesa Refinery Road. We are almost completing the bridge. It’s about 70 percent cent completed. We are doing almost the last part of it. With that road, it will help to decongest and reduce the trouble commuters face along the East-West Road while providing easy access, straight to the refinery.

“So, you can see that our government is working in line, supporting the Administration of President Bola Tinubu to give our people hope and assurance that things will soon get better.”

It added, “And it is this role that you are playing, genuinely. With the support of this state government, that is the only way we can achieve the purpose of governance for everyone.

“The purpose of governance is to make life easy for the people. I am happy that your investigation would make life easy for the people,” the governor explained.

Fubara pointed to the derivable benefits when the refinery is eventually revamped and becomes operational, both to the Federal Government and host, Rivers State.

He added, “When the refinery restarts production, there will be petroleum products available locally. The issue of importation will go down.

“We will now make an impact, the economy will grow, and internally generated revenue will increase. More projects will be executed in this state. You can see that it’s a chain effect thing. So, I want to thank you. ”

Fubara reiterated the obvious, saying: “We might be a state, as being presented that we have issues. But we don’t have any issues. Our eyes are on the ball to deliver for our people.

“Even in the face of this deliberate distraction, we will not fail our people because, in the end, it is the impact we make on our people that counts.”

He cautioned that anybody who disrespects an authority figure for his age or rank may succeed initially, but it will backfire with more agony.

“I am aware that this is not the actual number of members of this committee. You are more than this. I am also aware that the senator representing, unfortunately, my senatorial district didn’t want you to come here.

“But because you are men of integrity: the real ones who have integrity; you decided to come and do what is right. God will bless you.

“What you are doing is the right thing. Politics is a business of interest. Your worst enemy today can become your best friend tomorrow. It’s a business of interest. But the interest of the people should come first.

“Unfortunately, some people think it has to do with life or death. That is one mistake everybody makes when you take this business outside of the normal principles and rules.

“Our government has no business with politics of bitterness because we have the interest of our people at heart. We take their well-being as our priority because that is why they gave us the mandate to govern them.

“So, their interest, which is the interest of the State, comes first in our scheme of things.”

He reminded the Senators of the peaceful nature and hospitality of the state and its people and urged them to feel free to interact with the state for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders.

In his presentation, Ubah (representing Anambra South Senatorial District), said they were at Warri Refinery on Thursday and had come to Port Harcourt to investigate the work that has been done and assess the level of preparedness of both the old and new Port Harcourt Refinery to recommence operations.

He stated, “We will recall that the old Port Harcourt Refinery was the first refinery in Nigeria built in 1965 and the second one in 1989. And for so long now, they have not been in active operations.

“And with the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr. President, and also the desire of Nigerians and our determination; the Senate led by our President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, we had a resolution in the Senate to look at it and make sure that Nigeria’s refineries are working so that we shouldn’t be depending on importation of petroleum products.

“And that is one of the reasons that we are here, as well to look into the contract and investigate the level of compliance vis-a-vis the contract specifications.”

Continuing, Ubah said, “We are pleased to note that what we saw is most encouraging as the refinery upgrade and full rehabilitation is almost at 90 per cent completed.

“We are confident that the refinery will soon be operational before the end of the year. ”

Recall that the issue of the commencement of operation at the Port Harcourt Refinery has been a ding-dong affair, as the Federal Government and the NEPAL have given conflicting dates.

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