Published On: Thu, Jul 13th, 2017

Kachikwu Denies Selling Port Harcourt Refinery To Agip, Oando

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By Nuel Suji – The Minister of Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu Thursday denied reports that the Federal Government has sold the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) refinery in Port Harcourt to AGIP/ENI and Oando.

Kachikwu said it was not true that the refinery was sold, adding that Nigeria will not sell her oil refineries to private firm.

The minister who appeared before the Senate ad-hoc committee on Planned Concession of the Port Harcourt Refinery to AGIP/ENI and Oando in Abuja, Thursday accused Oando Plc of jumping the gun on the matter of the concessioning.

“The Memorandum of Understanding with AGIP/ENI and Oando on repairs of refineries may have been misrepresented in the media to mean outright sale.

“The process of concessioning is not easy and cannot be done without the consent of the three arms of government. The ministry is only interested in the rehabilitation of the nation’s ailing refineries.

“The Government will not sell Nigeria’s oil refineries to private firm contrary to public speculations. A technical committee has been set up by the government to undertake a review.”

Kachikwu also explained the swap method of payment which was reportedly applied in the said deal, Kachikwu saying; “I have no agreement with any company that crude should ‎be exchanged as form of payment. It is cost effective to build a new refinery than repairing the old refinery due to inability to get the spare part for the existed one.

“My tenure has initiated a deal of selling and buying method of the products instead of the earlier method of swapping crude as a means of payment for the supply of the refined products.”

The Senate had set up a seven-man ad-hoc committee to probe the $15 billion concession contract with a mandate to probe and reveal how and why such a deal was sealed

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