ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The Labour Party has challenged the reported ‘mechanical completion’ and ‘flare start-off’ of Port Harcourt’s largest crude refinery, alleging a deception by the All Progressives Congress (APC) government.
In response, the APC urges constructive criticism and clarifies that the refinery’s operation is a privately funded project led by Indorama Petrochemicals, emphasizing that not every issue should be politicized.
The disagreement surfaces a week after the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources announced the near-completion of the refinery, with a combined refining capacity of 210,000 barrels per day, with the old plant having an output of 60,000 barrels per day and the new plant churning out 150,000 bpd.
The LP, through its spokesman Yunusa Tanko, claims the reported start-off was stage-managed to mislead the public, emphasizing that there is no conclusive work on the refinery.
He said, “We hear that they have completed the mechanical works. This particular gas flare in Port Harcourt refinery is a deceit. It is another lie to deceive the Nigerian people. We used to know that once we began to have gas flaring up, some oil would be produced at the same time.
“But in this case, there is no single oil drop. That’s why we are saying this particular gas flaring they are trying to make everyone talk about is deceit. There was nothing like that. They have not been able to work on that refinery conclusively. It is a lie.
“If they are sure about the fact, let them prove us wrong. What happened is that some people just went and switched on the power generator to start up that particular gas flaring to deceive the Nigerian people.”
Reacting, the APC’s Deputy National Organising Secretary, Nze Chidi Duru, emphasizes the private sector’s role in the refinery project and cautions against politicizing every issue, urging constructive engagement in addressing national challenges.
“It (refinery) is working and functional. But it has nothing to do with the government because it is a private sector-led initiative. So if the FG has made an announcement that it is working, we have every reason it will work. If it doesn’t work, they know it will damage their brand, and people may no longer believe them.
“But as I said earlier, it has nothing to do with the APC government. It is Indorama Petrochemicals that is behind it and not the Federal Government. That was why I said it is not everything we should play politics with in this country. It is a private sector-led initiative,” Duru stated.