- Atedo Peterside is not a fan of the federal government's plan to rehabilitate Port Harcourt refinery with $1.5 billion
- The investment banker said the amount will build twelve world-class hospitals across Nigeria's geopolitical zones
- He said the government should sell the refinery in its bad state to investors without repairing it,, putting the rehabilitation cost on investors
Atedo Peterside, the chairman and founder of Stanbic IBTC, has continued to criticise the federal government's $1.5 billion rehabilitation budget for the Port Harcourt refinery. While the government had stated it can't be sold without repair, Peterside has stated otherwise.
In a recent statement on the rehabilitation plan posted on Thursday, April 1, 2021, via Twitter, Peterside said the amount could be disbursed into developing twelve world-class hospitals in Nigeria. According to the investment banker, two of such hospitals can be located in each geopolitical zone of the country.
He said the hospitals would cost $125 million each, and the government can sell the refinery without having to spend a dime on it. He said the rehabilitation of the oil refiner should be the concern of the investor that will purchase the asset.
"The $1.5 billion earmarked for PH Refinery Rehabilitation by #NNPC could build 12 world-class hospitals costing $125m each - 2 in each geopolitical zone. We could then allow private sector core investors to purchase the refinery and rehabilitate it with their own funds @officialNESG"
Peterside had taken a jab at the rehabilitation proposal since the report broke last month. In some of his comments towards the plan, he described the act to be a brazen & expensive adventure.
The businessman said experts are against the move of the government wasting such an amount of funds on an asset it couldn't manage. Three days ago, he told Moneyline with Nancy that the government plans to make a massive investment in fossil fuels when the world was thinking about electric cars.
This was after he accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation of trying to plunge the country into a financial mess for a problem the agency created itself. His previous statement on different occasions reads:
"In 2019, PH Refinery contributed zero revenue, but incurred costs of N47 billion; almost N4 billion a month! Instead of ending this nightmare through a #BPE core investor sale, #NNPC wants to enmesh Nigeria into a deeper financial mess by throwing $1.5 billion (incl. debt) at a problem it created?"
He also stated that:
"Yes, we must debate important and costly decisions such as the $1.5bn brazen PH Refinery rehabilitation project. Experts should speak up!" Peterside posted this comment on his timeline.
In a separate tweet, the Stanbic IBTC boss said the decision is a brazen and expensive adventure that should be debated publicly, so the government should suspend the disbursement of funds for the rehabilitation. He advised that the Bureau of Public Enterprise should sell the asset to core investors without repair.
What you should know
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the sum of $1.5bn for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery last week, this has generated a lot of controversies as individuals and groups express their views.
Before the sale and acquisition of the Port Harcourt Refinery, the maintenance of the refinery had been carelessly managed which has been attributed to government interference. The change of heart of the FG without a remarkable change in terms of government intervention could not revamp the serendipity of the refinery.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that Airtel Africa's mobile money business received $100 million from Mastercard in order for the payment company to take up a minority stake in the network provider.