P’Harcourt refinery to produce 2m litres of fuel daily – Minister

the Port-Harcourt Refinery would begin operations by producing two million litres of Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise known as petrol and 2.2 million litres of diesel per day.

The government also disclosed that the refinery was at 80 per cent completion, noting that the old plant of the refinery would produce 54,000 barrels per day, while the new plant which is in its last phase of completion, would start production by the end of the year.

This was contained in a statement on Thursday by the Director, Press and Public Relations in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olajide Oshundun.

According to the statement, the Minister of State, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, made the assertions after an inspection tour of the facility along with the leadership of organised labour, adding that the combined capacities of both plants would produce 10 million litres of PMS per day.

“Speaking on the inspection visit to the Port-Harcourt refinery by TUC and Federal Government delegation, the minister said reports by organised labour and government established that the Port-Harcourt refinery is 80% completed.

“She explained that the old plant would begin with 54,000 barrels per day, which would produce two million litres of PMS and 2.2 million litres of diesel per day, while the new plant which is currently going through its last phase of completion would also begin production before the end of the year. The combined capacity of the two plants, when fully on stream, would produce 10 million litres of PMS per day”, the statement read.

A scheduled visit to the Port-Harcourt refinery was among the 16-point agreements between the Federal Government and the organised labour last year.

Onyejeocha stated that the government was open to dialogue with organised labour and other stakeholders with the aim of achieving peace and harmony in the sector, while appealing to the union leaders to consider strike actions as a last option, as it sends wrong signals to investors.

“Issuing of constant strike threat could send wrong signals to potential investors. This is not healthy for our business environment,” she said.

The statement also stated that the Federal Government and the leadership of the Trade Union Congress met to review the progress report on agreements reached in October 2023 between the government and organised labour.

“During the review, the minister read each item on the memorandum of understanding among which were the payment of four out of six months on wage award, the committee of minimum wage review, payment of outstanding salaries and wages of tertiary education workers in federal- owned educational institutions, suspension of VAT on diesel, payment of N25,000 conditional cash transfer to 3,140,819 households, including the pensioners.

“While she said the government has made a huge financial commitment to the provision of CNG Buses and conversion Kits, she also explained that the procurement process was slowing down the launch but measures were already in place to fast-track the process.

“The minister explained that the government has commenced a series of engagements with relevant stakeholders on tax incentives, just as the leadership crises rocking NURTW and RTEAN have been resolved.

Among the progress made are subsidized distribution of fertilizers to farmers across the country, the government’s engagement with various state governments and the private sector on the issue of the implementation of wage awards for their workers, and plans to encourage MSEs in the country to create jobs and boost the economy”, the statement read.

The leadership of TUC led by its Secretary General, Nuhu Toro, commended the government for the progress so far, in implementing a substantial part of the agreement, but differed with the government on some of the items, one of which was that while the issue of RTEAN had been resolved, that of NURTW was yet to be resolved.

“If the issue of the president of the union has not been resolved, it suggests that the issue of NURTW has not been resolved. You have carefully done justice to the items, and we commend you and the federal government, but we expect fulfillment of all the agreements”, he said.

He added that by the assessment of the organised labour, the government has achieved only 50% implementation of the agreement, which the Minister disagreed with.

“50% is a pass mark, but we urge you to do more. We know there are challenges, but we are very optimistic that they could be addressed,” he said.

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