Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has described the decision of the federal government to vote $1.5 billion for the repairs of the Port Harcourt refinery as “suspicious.”
Recall that the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved $1.5 billion (about N600 billion) for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery.
Reacting to the development, he argued that a more valuable refinery of the same size as that of Port Harcourt was sold for less by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC).
He also asked if due diligence was performed before the approval of the fund.
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“$1.5 billion to renovate the Port Harcourt refinery is suspicious at the least,” Atiku said.
“Moreover, the cost appears prohibitive. Too prohibitive, especially as Shell Petroleum Development Company last year sold its Martinez Refinery in California, USA, which is of a similar size as the Port Harcourt refinery, for $1.2 billion. We must bear in mind that the Shell Martinez Refinery is more profitable than the Port Harcourt Refinery.
“Given this discrepancy, might we ask if there was a public tender before this cost was announced? Was due diligence performed? Because we are certainly not getting value for money. Not by a long stretch.”
He further opined that the refinery is not worth spending the nation’s scarce resources on at the moment.
He explained that there are more important things to channel the fund to given the state of the nation’s economy.