By Chizitelu Munachimso
The ongoing rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) is a process that has the host communities and stakeholders fully involved, Ahmed Dikko, Managing Director of the company has disclosed.
Dikko in a chat with Vanguard said a critical element for the successful rehabilitation of the refinery is the support of the communities within which it is located.
Rehabilitation work on PHRC commenced with the approval of $1.5 billion by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, followed by the signing of an agreement with the EPC contractors, Maire Tecnimont SpA, and the kick-off meeting held in Port Harcourt, recently.
“Host communities’ engagement is one of the key priorities for the success of this project and PHRC management recognizes this right from the earlier days of the award of this contract and has done a lot in this regard through the Public Affairs. The first is to put out the information correctly about this project, and the second is to manage the expectations of the communities.
“The approach that we are using is to get the communities to buy into the project and be part of it. So much has been covered and I’m delighted with the way we are going. We are going to have the support of the communities. The contractors themselves have nominated a community representative that is working closely with our public affairs team in the manner to ensure that the right information is given to the communities”, Dikko said.
He added that important as getting the approval and support of the host communities is, the success of the rehabilitation effort would not come without the buy-in of the staff of the PHRC on whose shoulders rest the task of driving the process.
“Everybody is part of the rehabilitation project, and in whatever department you are, you must contribute your own to make sure that we truly succeed.
“Whether you are in the human resources, engineering, or admin department; there is a role for you in the project, and I’m happy that the staff have taken it on, and are looking forward to the actual commencement of activities physically.
“We have gone further again to keep knowledge sharing so that everybody will understand clearly what the project is about, and also the scope of work that we want to do. That way, we’ll have a role to play as it goes on”, Dikko said.
Assuring that the rehabilitation of the refinery will be completed on schedule, the PHRC boss said all the processing plants and tanks have been made hydrocarbon-free and parts of the plants have been handed over to the contractors to commence work.
He noted that in order to ensure that the contractors deliver on their promises, the refinery management has provided tons of reliable information required by them to base their activities on.
“It is not a small thing knowing full well that all specs of all the equipment and everything therein that will make the contractor succeed have to be given; all the documentation that we have. So we have done that; we’ve given thousands of documents to the contractor”, Dikko stated.