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Ensure completion of $1.5b PHRC rehabilitation

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The ex-Chief Economist of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Dr. Peter Ozon-Eson, has urged the Federal Government to ensure that there is a guarantee for the completion of the $1.5billion Port Harcourt Refinery rehabilitation contract in record time.

He urged the government to guard against a re-occurrence of the past contracts for refinery maintenance that never yielded positive results.

Speaking with The Nation on phone, the ex-unionist, said “my take is that I believe that we need to revive the refinery. But the way we had thrown away money in the past in the name of turnaround maintenance, rehabilitation and all that calls for concern”.

He sought the involvement of workers’ representatives of workers and host communities for the project implementation monitoring to ensure that the contract is executed in line with its specifications.

According to him, if well implemented, the refinery will also supply petroleum products to prevent the Dangote Refinery from monopolising the petroleum products market.

“As we are expecting the Dangote Refinery, we need other refineries so that we are not subject to a monopolistic refinery,” he said.

Meanwhile, Center For Rights and Development, Barr Josephine Odikpo wondered why the government does not earmark the same fund for the building of a new refinery.

The  group depicted the contract amount as ludicrous.

The right activist said, via a WhatsApp text, said:  “Why not build a new refinery which can invariably cost less than 1.5B USD? The money is ludicrous. The government can definitely build a new refinery with less if it’s really serious.

“Even if the government says the contract is to proceed immediately, we have to also know that approval is not release so until we see it we wait but the sum is ludicrous.

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