Tayo AFOLABI

 

Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Downstream have warned that it will no longer be business as usual and vowed to religiously monitor progress of work at the refinery to ensure timely completion of the ongoing rehabilitation work.

Chairman of the committee, Dr Abdullahi Gaya made this declaration when he led his committee members to the refinery between Monday and Wednesday, as part of their oversight duties.

Gaya said it behoved on the committee to ensure that the money released by the federal government for the rehabilitation work was judiciously used, as Nigerians could not wait to see the refinery return to life.

He said: “We are here to see what they have done, even though they said within 24 months (2022)they will be able to complete.

“We hope within that period they will be able to finish it but we promise ourselves in the next three months, we will come back and see the progress for ourselves.

“When we came here in 2020, there was nothing and we promised that we were going to do something(towards returning the refinery back to life) and we have done it and we are here to see how far they have gone and if the stakeholders have complaints in respect of the job that they have done, they should tell us.”

Gaya warned that it would be no more business as usual in the running and management of the refinery, once it comes back to life, especially under the Petroleum Industry Act regime.

He said with the PIA, he was satisfied and excited that the petroleum industry was going to be run in a much better way.

He said: “We are happy that the PIB has been passed and the PIA, as you know, the president has already instructed the agencies that are concerned to make sure that it is implemented within a year.

“Without the PIA, we are sure even if the rehabilitation is done, things can go back the way they were. But now with this PIA, a lot of things are going to change and everything will be sustainable by the grace of God.”

Managing director of the Port Harcourt Refinery, Ahmed Dikko, who took the legislators round the facilities, told journalists that the April 2020 timeline for completion of the rehabilitation was realistic. Dikko said: “The project has just started and we are putting our energy around all the refinery which we promised we will complete within 24 months.

“And we have covered a lot of grounds to reach where we are today. So basically that is our main intent at this point. We have done enough and we are still doing enough to make sure we meet that obligation to complete the whole refinery within 24 months, while we still working on other parts of the refinery.

“The April 2022 target of the rehabilitation of the refinery is achievable.”

April 2022 has been fixed for completion of the rehabilitation work and the chairman insisted that everything must be done to keep to the time lines for the resumption of crude oil refining in Port Harcourt.

 

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