The Federal Government is targeting about 11.5million litres of petrol from the Port Harcourt Refinery at the completion of the first phase of the rehabilitation exercise.
This was disclosed by the Managing Director of the Port Harcourt Refinery, Ahmed Dikko during the kick-off of the rehabilitation exercise, yesterday.
The Federal Executive Council had in March, 2021, approved $1.5billion for the rehabilitation of the refinery which is expected to be completed in 44 months and three phases.
The managing director of the refinery, who spoke to newsmen, said it will work at a 90% capacity when the first phase of the exercise is completed within 22 months.
Dikko said, “Once we are done, we hope to produce at a minimum capacity of 90% and above. So, basically, we would have a lot of products that we use in Nigeria, today, produced from this facility going forward”.
“At least, close to about 11.5million litres of PMS every day will be churned out from the facility, that is more than enough to satisfy requirements around the environment and beyond”.
Dikko also said the management of the refinery has commenced community engagement to enable them have a peaceful environment to carry out the project.
He explained “we have commenced stakeholders’ engagement with the host community. We don’t just want to provide employment; we want them to be partners in this project. So, yes employment, they will have priority around that but then there are other things that they will require, that we will be ready to do for them as we journey into this project”.
“We will partner together with the contractor and satisfy this community engagement in a way that we will have a peaceful environment to do this project”
Also speaking, the Chief Operating Officer of the Port Harcourt Refinery, Mustapha Yakubu, said the project will create about 3,000 jobs for the local community and the expatriates that will work there.
Similarly, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, has assured Nigerians that the Port Harcourt Refinery Complex (PHRC) will roar back to life on or before April 5, 2023 when repairs would have been completed.
He gave the assurance, yesterday in Eleme, Rivers State, at the technical kick-off of the rehabilitation of the PHRC.
Kyari, who was represented by the Chief Financial Officer of NNPC, Mr Umar Ajiya, said that the management team hopes that Area 5 of the complex would be ready on the aforementioned date so that local petroleum refining can resume in Nigeria after decades of lull.
According to him, the NNPC management remains totally committed to supporting the contractor, Maire Technimont SPA, to ensure schedule optimisation by cooperatively dealing with any snags that may delay project delivery.
He assured of NNPC’s support wherever needed, either internally and externally.
Kyari said, “Nigerians expect their refineries to be up and running even though a giant one is coming. This is paramount to them.
“This is first time we’re carrying out a major rehabilitation. Technimont is an excellent company and we expect the best.
“We thank all stakeholders involved in achieving this milestone.
“We are available to support this project fully and will play our part. We will pay our contractor as and when due according to milestone achieved. We shall commit to any approval needed and visit from time to time to see the plant.
“We are happy we have the contractor onboard. With strong collaboration of all parties involved, we will achieve the desired results. We have both government and private sector financing. We have the finance ministry, NEITI, unions and other stakeholders on board this project. They want to see transparency so they can report same to Nigerians and this is one of the most transparent processes ever”, he stated.
Also speaking, the Chief Operating Officer, Refinery Development, Mr Yinusa Yakubu, said that a rigorous path was trod to select the contractor (Technimont) for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) stage of the refinery rehabilitation contract.
He ruled out the possibility of incurring additional costs but thanked the Federal Government for the release of $1.5million for the project.
He said that 3,000 people will work on the project.
“We can’t afford to fail or ask for more. We target at least 90% refining capacity when operational. It must be hitch-free and that is why we are engaging the host communities appropriately. 200 million Nigerians are looking up to us and we can’t afford to fail. We’ve been on this journey since 2019.
In his presentation, the Managing Director of PHRC, Ahmed Dikko, said that the complex has the first and newest government-owned refinery.
He added that Turnaround Maintenance (TAM) was done in 1992, 1994 and 2000.
“Federal Government approved the use of original refinery builders as single bidder for TAM in 2011 but the Presidency approved the change in strategy from ORB to selective bidder in 2020.
“All process plants 1&2 have been made hydrocarbon free ready for plant handover. The cleaning of 10 storage tanks is ongoing, since our waste water treatment has some oil; but they’re being made hydrocarbon-free. The refinery was commissioned in 1965″.
In his contribution, the representative of the contractor, Maire Technimont SPA, Masu Alberto, said that the journey started in 2017 with integrity test of the refinery.
“In 2019, we did work on it and then now.
“We’re deploying a good number of engineers. Due to the pandemic, it’s quite challenging deploying people but we have to trudge on”, he said.
He added that the technical building will be refurbished, just as the fire-fighting and deluge sprinkler systems will be replaced.
He added that 24 offsite tanks will be refurbished.
“The replacement of electrical equipment in substation, primary earthen integration and new lighting system is part of the project.
Other things to be replaced are; 437 pumps, 13 turbines, one expander, two boilers, three, 28 compressor fans and blowers, 29 tanks, 192 vessel and drums, 40 secondary distribution panels, 62 transformers, 1,100 control and shutdown valves, 611 safety relief valves, emergency diesel generators, among others”, he revealed.
The actual cost of the PHRC rehabilitation is $1.299billion.
However, when taxes and charges were added, it rose to $1.5billion.
A multi-prong funding strategy is being adopted by the Federal Government.
The next refinery to be overhauled is Warri and then Kaduna.
Minister Blames Judiciary For Prisons’ Congestion
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has blamed the congestion in Nigeria’s correctional facilities on the country’s Judiciary, explaining that the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCOS) was not allowed by law to reject inmates sentenced to correctional centres or to release them.
Aregbesola, represented by Special Adviser on Nigerian Correctional Service, Suleiman Tala, stated this while delivering a paper at a policy advocacy conference entitled, “Decongestion of Correctional Centres: Status Quo”, organised as part of the 60th-anniversary celebration of the Order of The Knights of St Mulumba, Nigeria, Lagos Metropolitan Council, which was held in Lagos, adding that the primary responsibility of NCOS is to hold offenders pending the adjudication of their cases before a law court.
“It is important for the public to be aware that the NCOS and the Ministry of Interior are trying their best to tackle the issue from different angles as the length of time the inmates stay at the custodian centre is not determined by NCOS but by the justice system. I may not be able to reiterate exactly what the challenges are with the judiciary, however, as it affects the NCOS we are doing all we can not to compromise the traditional responsibility of the NCOS,” he stated.
Representing the Inspector General of Police, Baba Usman, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, accepted that the police contribute to the congestion but gave his reasons.
“Inconsistence of the appearance of police officers to give evidence at trials has been identified as one of the alleged causes of prolonging trial but the IGP has mandated officers must attend court cases as at when due. The police are being hampered by a high level of distrust between the citizens and their police institution,” he stated.
Also at the conference, Lagos State Catholic Archbishop, Alfred Adewale Martins, who was represented by Rev. Paschal Uwaezeapu, stated that decongestion of the prisons would continue to be a matter as long as the government has refused to fix the country.
“The prison would continue to be congested if we don’t fix the society. As long as our society is a place where everybody takes for himself without considering the neighbour then our prison would continue to be congested. If we need to fix the prison we need to fix the family. These prisoners come from a family. We need to fix the education system also. We need to promote justice, without all these, the prison will soon overflow,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Lagos Metropolitan Grand Knight, KSM William Adebisi, urged the government to declare a state of emergency on the congestion of prisons.
“The government needs to take the matter seriously as it affects the health of the inmates, economy of the company and behavioural change of the inmates,” he stated.
FG Seeks $3bn With Eurobond Offer
The Federal Government has announced plans for a Eurobond issuance in the International Capital Market (ICM) to raise $3billion.
The Debt Management Office (DMO) said, yesterday, that Virtual meetings with investors have been scheduled for today, and September 20, 2021.
It said, “In order to avail local investors the opportunity to invest in the Eurobonds, meetings will also be held with local investors.
“This is the first time local investors will be included in the Roadshows, and this is one of the reasons why a Nigerian Bookrunner (Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Services Ltd) was appointed as one of the Transaction Advisers.
“Through the Eurobond issuance, Nigeria is expected to raise up to $3billion but no more than $6.2billion.”
According to the DMO, the issuance for which all statutory approvals have been received, would be to implement the New External Borrowing in the 2021 Appropriation Act and that “Proceeds are for the financing of various projects in the Act.”
The agency gave further insight, saying, “In addition to providing funding to part-finance the deficit in the 2021 Appropriation Act, the issuance of Eurobonds by Nigeria benefits the country in many other strategic ways; amongst which are: 1. It is an inflow of foreign exchange, leading to an increase in External Reserves.
“External Reserves help support the Naira Exchange Rate, and Nigeria’s sovereign rating.
“When Nigeria raises funds externally, through Eurobonds, it frees up space in the domestic market for private sector and sub-national borrowers. In effect, it helps the sovereign not to crowd out other borrowers in the domestic market.
“The issuance of Eurobonds by Nigeria has opened up opportunities for Nigeria’s corporate sector notably banks, to issue Eurobonds to raise capital in the ICM.
“By so doing, their capital base has been strengthened to provide banking services whilst also meeting regulatory requirements. Nigeria has a sovereign yield curve in the ICM, extending up to 30 years.
“The local listing of Nigeria’s Eurobonds on the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. and the FMDQ Securities Exchange Ltd., have increased the range of products on these two (2) exchanges and their respective market capitalization.
“Overall, Eurobond issuances by Nigeria and the investor meetings that precede the pricing have provided a strong global platform for Nigeria to tell its own story and opportunities available in Nigeria for investors.”
The Transaction Advisers appointed by Nigeria for the issuance were: International Bookrunners – JP Morgan, Citigroup Global Markets Limited; Joint Lead Managers -Standard Chartered Bank and Goldman Sachs; Nigerian Bookrunner – Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Services Ltd; Financial Adviser – FSDH Merchant Bank Ltd; while White & Case LLP, was appointed International Legal Adviser; and Banwo&Ighodalo would serve as Nigerian Legal Adviser.
The last time Nigeria accessed the ICM was November 2018.
Insecurity: Put Nigeria First, FG Tells Media
The Federal Government has tasked the media to put Nigeria first in the reportage of the country’s activities, particularly the fight against insecurity.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the call in Abuja during the ceremony of the renaming of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Headquarters Building after the former Managing Director and Board Chairman of NAN, late Wada Maida.
Mohammed said it may seem obvious and trite, but for any professional, including a journalist in Nigeria to be able to carry out his or her responsibility at all, the nation must first exist, in peace.
“In other words, if the country goes down, all professionals and everybody go down. It is that stark, and this is why I want to use this platform to appeal to our media to put Nigeria first”, Mohammed said.
Speaking further, the minister said if one picked up most newspapers, watched most television stations or listened to most radio stations in the country, one will be right to think Nigeria is a country at war.
While acknowledging that there were challenges in the country, especially in the area of security, Mohammed, however, said the Buhari administration had not only acknowledged the challenges, it is earnestly tackling the challenges.
“A good example is the decisive manner in which our gallant troops are tackling the banditry in the North-West or the way they are combating the terrorists in the North-East. Our security agencies have also successfully tackled the separatists in the South-East and South-West and the militants in the South-South. Unfortunately, these efforts have only been perfunctorily reflected in the reportage of the security challenges that we face. This is not only unfair, especially to those who are sacrificing their lives to keep us safe, it is unpatriotic.
“To illustrate the damage this non-acknowledgement of the efforts of the security agencies pose to the country, let me tell you what transpired when I recently hosted some members of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) UK Chapter, who visited me in my office here in Abuja. They said some of their colleagues who would have come to Nigeria for their programme tagged,‘A Week in and For Nigeria’ during the month of July, did not come out of fear of the security situation in Nigeria. However, those who made the trip said they travelled to their hometowns across the country and returned to Abuja safely. If Nigerians in the diaspora can be afraid to come to their country, imagine how foreigners, including investors and tourists, will feel about coming to the country.
“Whatever image problem Nigeria is suffering from today is mostly due to the unflattering portrayal of the country by the country’s media.
“Even when some media organisations report fake news, they never have the decency to retract such stories and apologise. They simply move on as if nothing has happened.
“We are not saying the media should not report on the security challenges we face. All we are saying is: Be fair and report accurately the efforts being made by the state and federal governments to tackle the challenges. Even if you don’t want to encourage the men and women in uniform fighting to keep us safe, please don’t discourage them with negative reporting. The security challenges we face today will be successfully tackled and Nigeria will not cease to exist, despite the antics of naysayers”, Mohammed added.
Mohammed congratulated the family, friends and associates of the late Maida for the great and much-deserved honour done to him.
He commended the management and staff of the NAN for coming up with the idea to immortalise the late Maida.
“The Federal Government’s decision to approve the proposal was not difficult, upon realising the role played by Alhaji Wada in making NAN the respectable agency that it is today. A man who was everything from Zonal Editor to Foreign Correspondent to Editor-in-Chief to Managing Director to Board Chairman, a man who built this glistening NAN headquarters edifice deserves to be immortalised by the organisation he served so well in his lifetime”, Mohammed stated.
Mohammed prayed that God will continue to comfort and strengthen the family of Maida, even as he prayed that the soul of the departed continues to rest in peace.
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