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FG Revives Rehabilitation Steering Committee to Oversee Warri, PH, Kaduna Refineries Overhaul

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The federal government has announced the revival of the Refineries Rehabilitation Steering Committee to oversee the overhaul of the Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries and ensure that timelines are met.

The Minister of Petroleum (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, who disclosed the new move after his latest tour of the facilities in the Niger Delta, explained that henceforth there would be routine monthly meetings with members of the committee.

Lokpobiri who urged the contractors to increase the pace of work to ensure that the deadlines are not exceeded, noted that the meetings will henceforth hold on rotational basis on the premises  of the plants.

“After my first inspection of the Port Harcourt refinery in August, I revived the Refineries Rehabilitation Steering Committee and scheduled a routine monthly meeting with members of the committee.

“Consequently, I was joined by the Group CEO of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Mr. Mele Kyari, for the scheduled meeting, during which we reviewed the quick-fix work progress on the refineries across the nation,” he narrated on his X/Twitter handle.

The minister added that his choice of the facilities as venue of the meeting on rotational basis was to ensure immediate inspection of reported progress.

Lokpobiri noted that the government remains committed to delivering on the promises of the ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda of President Bola Tinubu, even as Nigerians eagerly await the commencement of operations at the refineries in order to address Nigeria’s local fuel consumption needs.

“We want to see how these refineries can be fully rehabilitated so that we can stop or reduce the quantum of product imported into the country and free our forex for more productive purposes for the betterment of our economy.

“So these projects are so important to government and that’s why as a steering committee we are going to be rotating our meetings. Today, we have come here for that meeting.

“We have seen things for ourselves and the next one will be in Kaduna, then Port Harcourt and I will also come to these refineries to ensure we keep to our timelines given to the contractors.

“Government is not doing it directly, the contractors are. So, we are engaging the contractors who have given us timelines and our staff are on ground who are giving us periodic reports and this is what we can do. I assure you that in no distant time, these things will be sorted out,” he added.

Tinubu had recently directed the NNPC and other authorities to fix the refineries, promising the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) that the refineries will be functional before December in order to cushion the effect of the removal of fuel subsidy.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, imports almost all its products since its refineries, which have been non-functional for years cannot produce any fuel.

Tinubu recently removed the expensive subsidy on petrol, which has led to more than tripling of the price of the product at the pump.