By Christiana Ekpa
The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has condemned the approval of $1.5 billion for immediate rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery, saying that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) administration has not done anything different from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since it came to power on the wings of its change mantra.
In a statement issued on Friday and signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, CNPP urged the federal government to do one thing right by building a brand new refinery and save the country from unending fuel importation in Nigeria.
It said “In 2015, most Nigerians were made to believe that an APC administration, headed by a retired General like President Muhammadu Buhari, would do things differently. But we now know better.
“It is disappointing that after spending over $25 billion on so-called turnaround maintenance of Nigeria’s refineries without any improvement, the Federal Executive Council, chaired by President Buhari, will approve fresh $1.5 billion (about N575 billion) for the repair of Port Harcourt refinery.
“How can a whopping N575 billion be wasted again on the 32-year-old Port Harcourt refinery instead of building a new one?
“While the 100 percent capacity of the Port Harcourt Refinery, a two-plant complex, has a combined capacity of 210,000 barrel-per-day (bpd), Dangote is building a 650,000 bpd refinery with just about $15 billion.
“The Dangote petrochemical complex is reported to house a gas processor and the world’s biggest plant for ammonia and urea, which is used in making plastics and fertilizer.
“The Dangote refinery will produce Euro-V quality petroy and diesel, as well as jet fuel and polypropylene.
“It means that the $25 billion already wasted in turnaround maintenance by successive administrations would have built a bigger refinery for Nigeria than Dangote’s celebrated refinery complex.
“It is, therefore, a shame that after wasting $25 billion, Nigeria is spending the sum of $1.5 billion, about N575 billion, for another fruitless round of rehabilitation work on a 32-year-old Port Harcourt refinery.
“The ruling APC and President must be told that Nigerians are fed up with the rehabilitation of refineries in the country as well as the attendant waste, we should be proactive as a country to minimise waste of resources.