The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has signed with an Italian company, Tecnimont SpA, the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery in Rivers State.
The contract signing ceremony was done at the NNPC Headquarters, Abuja, on Tuesday.
Ahmed Dikko, managing director of Port Harcourt refinery company (PHRC), signed for the refinery, while Davide Pellizola, Vice-President (sub-Saharan Africa) of Tecnimont SpA, signed for the contractor of the project.
Speaking at the event, Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, said the rehabilitation of the refinery is in line with the presidential mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari to fix the country’s four state-owned refineries.
Kyari noted that the process of selecting the contractor was transparent, adding that no vested interest apart from the completion of the projection will be considered.
He said: “Mr President promised Nigerians he’ll fix the refineries. We’re happy to deliver on this Presidential mandate. We’ll continue this process to also deliver on both Warri & Kaduna Refineries.
“I can confirm to you that nobody has been delegated by anybody in this company to work for (the interest of) anyone other than the mandate of delivering on this rehabilitation project.”
In March, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the sum of $1.5 billion for the rehabilitation of the refinery.
The approval had generated varied reactions from Nigerians, with many criticising the Federal Government for earmarking such sum to rehabilitate a refinery that has not worked efficiently for close to a decade.
Atedo Peterside, founder of Stanbic IBTC and Anap Foundation, led the opposition to the rehabilitation, urging the government to subject the approval of $1.5 billion to “an informed national debate”.