PH Refinery Rehabilitation :NNPC and Tecnimont sign $1.5bn contract
By Celestine Ajayi
NNPC, on Tuesday signed the $1.5 billion contract with Italian firm, Tecnimont SPA for the complete rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery.
Criticisms had trailed the decision of the Federal Executive Council to approve the sum for the rehabilitation of the 210,000 barrels per day refinery, with many calling for the outright privatization of the refinery.
But speaking at a contract signing ceremony in Abuja, NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari said the decision to rehabilitate the refinery which has not produced in the past three years was justifiable.
“Me and my colleagues in NNPC, we are over 7,000, and this moment, we are very proud to say we have done the right thing. We have done the right thing because it a very abnormal situation”. For those questioning the $1.5 billion cost, Kyari said the bidding process was transparent.
“First and foremost, we all agree that no one will drag in labour unions, transparency international, infrastructure concenssioning and regulatory agency of the country into a tender process. If we had anything to hide or worry about, we won’t do this. “Me and my colleagues, we are very proud that we did this so that this tender process which culminated in this event of today is monumental history for us.
“We are aware of the many of the misgivings in the public space around cost, around political compromises, even around potentially why do we even have to do this. We understand this.
“Some people in their own world because if they have the opportunity, this is what they would do. If they have the opportunity they would hiked up the cost, they would have seen it as an opportunity to make or earn income that they have not worked for. They would also see it as an opportunity for political patronage.
“As we speak, I can confirm to you that if I see the COO Tecniomont, I cannot recognize him. As a matter of fact when I came in, I had difficulty remembering whether I had met him, with due respect”, he stated.