THE Federal Government has again reassured that the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) Ltd. would be back on stream by December.
This is not the first time the government has given this assurance, as the former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva set similar targets last year.
Recall the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has been at daggers drawn with the Federal Government, as they made local Petroleum refining a focal point of its ongoing negotiations with the government and a pre-condition to petroleum subsidy removal.
The NLC specifically called on the federal government to fix local refineries of Kaduna, Warri and Portharcourt to be able to cater for domestic fuel consumption and save Naira from depreciation.
The minister of state for petroleum resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, said this on August 25, 2023, as contained in a statement by the chief corporate communications officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited Garba Deen Muhammad.
“Our objective in coming here today is to ensure that in the next few years, Nigeria stops fuel importation. From what we have seen here today, Port Harcourt Refinery will come on board by the end of the year.
“Warri will come on stream by the end of the first quarter of next year, and Kaduna will also come on board towards the end of next year. If you add that to the Dangote Refinery, we will be able to stop fuel importation, and Nigerians will enjoy the full benefits of deregulation,” the Minister assured.
He also said he was satisfied with the ongoing rehabilitation work at the Port Harcourt refinery, noting that once all the refineries are back on stream, Nigerians will enjoy a better supply of petroleum products, and foreign exchange will be domesticated, leading to an improved economy.
During the visit, the minister also participated in the Refineries’ Rehabilitation Steering Committee meeting and held a meeting with the refinery’s Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) Contractors.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.