The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timepre Silva has disclosed that the Federal Government plans to build a third refinery in Rivers State to bringing the total in the state to three.
He made this disclosure on Sunday when he paid a courtesy visit with top officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the Rivers State Governor, Oyesom Wike at the Government House in Port-Harcourt.
Sylva also revealed that plans had reached an advanced stage to rehabilitate the existing refineries in the country.
He stated that the federal government decided to start the rehabilitation programme from the two refineries in Port Harcourt because Rivers State is the headquarters of the hydrocarbon industry.
Silva said for also commended Wike for being persistent in his quest to get the Refinery Road dualized and promised that the ministry would support the move.
In response, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, Stated emphatically that the Niger Delta region is safe for companies to conduct their businesses and demanded that international oil companies (IOCs) relocate their headquarters to the state.
Governor Wike called on multinational companies to stop using insecurity to justify their refusal to relocate their operational headquarters to the Niger Delta region.
The governor wondered why insecurity does not prevent the drilling of oil but could be used to deprive the state what is due to it.
His words: “They use insecurity issues to place us in a disadvantaged position and deny us our right.
“There is insecurity in Lagos, Kaduna and Katsina States. Yet, companies do not run away from those states. The railway projects are not stalled too.
“The multinationals are sometimes to blame because they instigate insecurity by paying militants and turn around to blame it on the people.
“There is no excuse to operate outside our state. The federal government should compel them to relocate their headquarters to the state as the hub of the hydrocarbon industry,” he added.
He said that the NNPC has not done anything substantial for the state after many years of operation, adding that the Port Harcourt Refinery has continued to operate below installed capacity, even as the access road has been in a poor state for years.
“I urge you as minister and members of the board of directors to dualize the three kilometres road and change the narrative,” he stated.
Wike commended the Minister for his patriotism as demonstrated by attracting federal projects to his state, despite being in the opposition party in Bayelsa State and urged other ministers to emulate him.