Port Harcourt Refining Company Ltd (PHRC) Eleme, on Friday said that the phase 1 of the maintenance exercise of the refinery aimed at enhancing its capacity had been completed.
The Managing Director of the company, Mr Ahmed Dikko, made the remark during the inauguration of some development projects built by the company in Eleme, Rivers.
The projects, whose contract worth was not disclosed, include Skills Acquisition centre and a fully furnished 14-classroom block to accommodate no fewer than 350 pupils in Alesa-Eleme.
Dikko, represented by Mrs Edith Johnson, Manager, Public Affairs of the company, said that the phase 2 of the refinery’s turn-around maintenance would soon begin.
He noted that when the refinery starts producing at a very high capacity, commercial activities, direct and indirect employment within the host communities and environs would be boosted.
He said that the refinery had in the past initiated and completed various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes in Eleme.
“Eleme community is one of our host communities and, therefore, occupies a special space in our CSR initiatives,” he said.
Dikko said that the projects included PHRC Youth Empowerment and Skills Acquisition Programme (YESAP 2015, 2016 and 2019) with more than 150 beneficiaries from Eleme who were given necessary starter packs and a rent subsidy of N100,000 each for easy startup.
He said that the refinery had also implemented the PHRC Revolving Micro-credit Scheme for the Eleme Local Government Area aimed at boosting the socio-economic life of the indigenes with more than 30 beneficiaries.
He explained that the beneficiaries of the micro-credit scheme were expected to pay back for others to benefit but expressed disappointment that most of them had not paid back, leading to the stagnation of the programme.
He, however, assured that the company would continue to engage the host communities in a sustainable manner.
Dikko, who paid a courtesy visit to the King of Eleme, His Royal Majesty, King Philip Obelle, commended the King for his passion over the welfare of the people.
He urged him to ensure the security and judicious use of the facilities.
Speaking, King Obelle commended the company for the gesture, adding that the Skills Acquisition centre would assist in raising the standard of his people.
“A skill can make you stand on your own and become an employer of labour; you are actually there to make our people independent, you have made us proud and happy,” he said.
Also speaking, the Paramount ruler of Alesa-Eleme, His Royal Highness, King Emperor Nkpe, described the projects as goldmine and promised to protect them. (NAN)