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Sylva: FG May Sell Port Harcourt Refinery After $1.5bn Rehabilitation

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The federal may consider selling the Port Harcourt refinery after the planned rehabilitation which is put at the value of $1.5 billion, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has revealed.

Speaking in an interview on Channels Television programme ‘Politics Today’ monitored by Daily Independent, the Minister who was responding to questions on why the federal chose to repair the refinery after several failed efforts within the past, said it’s improper to sell a refinery that’s not working.

He also added that when functional, the refinery won’t be managed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) but are going to be handed to knowledgeable operations and management companies to manage its affairs.

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In his words “I know there has been discussion about selling the refineries. There was actually a time that the refineries were actually sold then that call was also reversed. within the history of the refinery, tons has happened”.

“The thinking is that you simply don’t sell a refinery that’s not functioning. it’s not every sale that led to success. for instance, we sold the Ajaokuta steel mill but it didn’t make any difference. The people that bought it only tried to cannibalize it then attempt to sell it off”.

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“We believe that if you sell a refinery that’s not working, the people that pip out might just plan to cannibalize it then sell it off. then what are you getting to say since you’ve got sold it?”

“What we would like to try to do is to make sure that the refinery is functioning first before we take that call on what step to require next. that’s why we are getting to fix this refinery. Let this refinery work efficiently at 100 percent”.

“Then this point, we are getting to get knowledgeable Operations and Maintenance ( O&M) company to run the refinery. this point’s not getting to be NNPC or government which will run it after we rehabilitate it”.

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“At that time, when the refinery is functioning at full capacity, the govt will then take a choice what to try to do with it; either to sell it off to non-public sector or to privatize it. Whatever government wants to try to do with it’ll be done after the rehabilitation but allow us to make sure that we are ready to give Nigerians a functional refinery first” .

Source:- Independent Ng

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