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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachukwu has clashed with the Group Chief Executive of Oando PLC, Mr. Wale Tinubu, over alleged planned concessioning of Port-Harcourt refinery.
Both men met on Thursday during a one-day Public Hearing of the Senate on the way forward for the oil sector.
The Minister, who appeared before the Senator Abubakar Kyari-led ad hoc Committee on the Planned Concession of the Refinery rebuffed Tinubu and disowned statements credited to the latter which implied that his company (Oando) has been granted concession for the Port Harcourt refinery.
Although Wale Tinubu also denied ever making any remark in the media on alleged concession of Port Harcourt refinery to the oil company by the federal government, he vehemently maintained his stand that the refinery has been packaged for Oando’s rehabilitation.
After accusation and counter accusation between the two, the Senate and the federal agencies handling the nation’s oil refineries on alleged move to concession the Port Harcourt Refinery, all parties settled for revamping, rehabilitation and maintenance of the refinery along with others through what they termed, sourced financing from private oil firms.
Speaking further on the state of the refinery, Kachikwu who noted that $300 million would be required to repair it, said that it was better to engage the company that built the refinery in the first instance for its repairs, due to the availability of spare parts and knowledge of the configuration, adding that the country’s refineries were being run and maintained by Nigerian engineers, and acknowledged that there was the urgent need for constant retraining of the engineers.