By G9ija

The founder of Stanbic IBTC and Anap Foundation, Mr. Atedo Peterside, yesterday called on the federal government to subject the approval of $1.5 billion for the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery in Rivers State to “an informed national debate.”

Peterside, in a tweet yesterday, asked the federal government to halt the repair of the refinery pending when the debate is held.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on Wednesday announced the approval of the $1.5 billion for the rehabilitation of the refinery.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, said the rehabilitation would be done in three phases of 18, 24, and 44 months.

He said the contract had been awarded to Tecnimont SPA, an Italian company, and that funding would be sourced from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) internally generated revenue (IGR), Afreximbank and budgetary provisions.

TheCable reported that Peterside, who served as a member of the National Council on Privatisation between 2010 and 2015, said experts preferred the outright sale of the refinery to qualified investors.

“FG should halt $1.5 billion approval for the repair of Port Harcourt refinery and subject this brazen and expensive adventure to an informed national debate.

“Many experts prefer that this refinery is sold “as is” by BPE to core-investors with proven capacity to repair it with their own funds,” Peterside tweeted.