Port Harcourt — The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on its award of contract to an Italian firm, to revamp the Port Harcourt refinery.
The senior oil workers’ union said the Port Harcourt refinery when rehabilitated to operate optimally, would reduce the stress imposed on the naira due to massive importation of refined petroleum products.
Speaking exclusively to our correspondent, PENGASSAN Chairman, Port Harcourt Zone, Mr. Azubuike Azubuike, described the move as a welcome development, saying the revamping of the refinery would also create employment.
Azubuike said if all the nation’s refineries could be revamped to operate at optimal capacity, Nigeria could be earning huge foreign exchange by supplying products throughout the West African region.
“It is a welcome development. If we have the Port Harcourt refinery running, it will reduce the stress on our currency because the stress importation of products heap on our currency will be reduced.
“When we are able to put our refineries together and refine our crude, the possibility is that we are going to have availability of products, and it will create jobs directly and indirectly.
“It will help improve on our foreign exchange in the sense that, if we refine more than what we need in the country, we could supply refined petroleum products to the entire West African market and earn foreign exchange,” he said.
Asked if he was not disappointed that NNPC had to award the contract to an Italian firm, Maire Tecnimont, whereas the country had the local capacity that could handle the job, especially since PENGASSAN had been an advocate of local content, Azubuike said local content must have been taken into account in the process of awarding the contract.