Wike: $ 1.b Refinery Rehabilitation Project A Political Statement

Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike, has described as political the approval of $1.5 billion for the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery by the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday.

The governor, who stated this during a television interview, said people ought to bear in mind that there was a different between mere approval and actual release of money for projects.

He said ahead of the 2023 elections, so many promises and approvals would be made by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government to hoodwink gullible Nigerians that the country is being taken to Eldorado.

“I am not going to jubilate because the Federal Government said it has approved $1.5 billion for the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery. Thank God the government said so, but let us wait and see the outcome of it at the end of the day”, he said.

The governor described, as unacceptable, a situation where all the refineries in the Niger Delta region, which is the hub of the oil and gas industry, are not functioning.

Wike said: “We have had these promises and nothing has happened. And so, I don’t want to start to sing hallelujah. Let us wait and see based on the approval and the statement made by the minister of State for Petroleum. We will hold him accountable to it.”

Governor Wike said before the APC-led government assumed office in 2015, the party had promised to fix the refineries.  He wondered how the government, which now has barely two years to the end of its tenure, can fix the refineries it neglected since 2015.

“They said, Nigerians, if you give us (APC) the opportunity to remove Peoples Democratic Party (P{DP) government that told you refinery will work, we are going to make it (refinery) work. And since 2015, it has not worked. Now, we are going to the next transition, you are now coming to tell Nigerians you have made this approval. The same thing in Ogoni clean up. It has always come up when we are going for election”, he said.

On the utilisation of the 13 percent derivation fund, the governor said no former South South governor, particularly those that served between 2007 and 2015 could equal the achievements recorded by the state government under his watch.