Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum, has assured that the Port Harcourt refinery in Rivers State will become functional in 18 months.
Sylva gave the assurance in an interview on Channels Television on Sunday, in reaction to the controversy that has trailed the approval of $1.5 billion for the rehabilitation of the refinery; an amount which many have described as too outrageous for a facility that is not functioning to full capacity.
The minister, who insisted that the rehabilitation exercise is not a waste of funds, added that there are plans to also fix the Warri and Kaduna refineries.
“Port Harcourt Refinery will work, and certainly within the next 18 months.
“There are plans to also fix the Warri Refinery and Kaduna Refinery and then we would get all those staff to work”, he said.
Sylva debunked insinuations that the rehabilitation could have cost less than N500 million.
He also disclosed how the Federal Government would raise funds for the rehabilitation.
“You see, Nigerians like to bandy figures. I can tell you, that that cannot be true. We are talking with the professionals.
“Let me tell you how this rehabilitation is going to be funded; it is not going to be all debts, we are not going to borrow all the monies that are going into the rehabilitation (project).
“Some of the money will come from NNPC’s internally generated revenue – from NPDC, some of it will come from the Federal appropriation, and just a little fraction will come from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank),” he added.