From Bello Wakili (Abuja)
The 38th virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the sum of $1.5 billion for the rehabilitation of the largest refining company in the country, Port Harcourt Refinery.
Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, said the rehabilitation will be done in three phases of 18, 24 and 44 months.
He said the contract was awarded to an Italian company, Tecnimont spa, who are experts in refinery maintenance.
According to him, the funding has three components from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), budgetary allocations provisions and Afreximbank.
Timipre Sylva who addressed State House Correspondents alongside, Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire and Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, assured that local content was fully involved in the job.
On the question about operations and maintenance, Sylva said: “That has been a big problem for our refineries, as we all know, that was also exhaustively discussed in Council and the agreement is that we are going to put a professional Operations and Maintenance company to manage the refinery when it has been rehabilitated because is part of the condition required by the lenders, AFREXIM”.
The minister said funds were all in place and work would commence forthwith.
On when the other refineries in the country will be rehabilitated, he said: “Discussions are ongoing. We want to take one at a time and I want to assure you that before the lifetime of this administration expires, work on all the refineries would have at least commenced.”
Minister of Health, Ehanire Osagie said council approved N3.070 billion for six contracts for the purchase of various laboratory equipment by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) across the country.
Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, on his part said Council, approved the revised estimate total cost of the Enugu-Onitsha Highway which is N8.649 billion to be handled by Niger Construction.
The Minister of State Budget and National Planning, Agba said council approved a memo that had to do with the reviewed National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan 2020 to 2043.
According to him, The maiden Master Plan was from 2014 to 2043 and embedded in it as a living document is that it ought to be reviewed every five years. There are about seven asset classes that are contained in the master plan. This is in the areas of transportation, energy, ICT, agriculture, water and mining, social infrastructure, housing and regional development, security and vital registration.
“The maiden edition didn’t have the macro economic framework embedded in it but with the reviewed update that has been approved by the council, it includes macro economic framework. It also allows for the establishment of the National Council on Infrastructure under the Chairmanship of the Vice President to provide policy direction and infrastructure related materials.”