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FG: $1.2bn required to fix refineries

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu yesterday said the Federal Government needs about $1.2 billion to repair and bring the three refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna to full capacity.

He also said the refineries have neither been concessioned nor disposed to any business concern.

The clarification by the minister came following speculations that government might have concessioned the Port Harcourt refinery to Italian oil firm Agip and local Nigerian oil group, Oando.

The Senate has asked the ministry to halt the process over perceived concerns that it lacked transparency.

But speaking at a press conference in Abuja after meeting senators on the matter, Kachikwu said no financiers have been selected to revamp the refineries as speculated.

He explained that the technical committee set up to undertake the review and selection process was yet to submit its report.

The minister said what had been accomplished by the committee was to come up with a holistic investment figure that would be enough to fix the three refineries, but not selected any firm yet.

“We have not reached there, so anybody who is saying the contract has been given is doing so in error,” he said.

The minister also stated that there was a consensus within the government that after the financiers have been selected the Original Refineries Builders (ORB) which are Saipem in Warri; JGC in Port Harcourt; and Chiyoda in Kaduna, would undertake the repairs considering that they have better knowledge of the refineries.