Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said the federal government’s plan to renovate or turn around the Port Harcourt Refinery with $1.5 billion appears to be an unwise decision at this critical time.
Atiku said it is questionable wisdom to throw good money at the nation’s refineries that have been recording losses for multiple years.
He added that the cost appears prohibitive, noting that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) last year sold its more profitable refinery, Martinez Refinery in California, USA, which is of a similar size as the Port Harcourt refinery, for $1.2 billion.
The former Vice President in a statement added, “To budget the sum of $1.5 billion to renovate or turn around the Port Harcourt Refinery will appear to be an unwise use of scarce funds at this critical juncture for a multiplicity of reasons”.
“The cost appears prohibitive. Too prohibitive, especially as SPDC 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”.
“Our national debt has grown from ₦12 trillion in 2015 to ₦32.9 trillion today. Surely, that is shocking enough to cause us to be more prudent in the way we commit future generations into the bondage of bonds and debt,” he said.