Tag Archives: akwa ibom sate

Amakpe Refinery – As a matter of fact – Part 1

16 Sep

Written By Chris Oduok,
Houston Texas

With all due respect to the office of our Governor and Deputy Governor, the said Press Conference, SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT is SADDER than LAUGHABLE. It is sad because even without the facts, and just on the strength of the transcript of this Press Statement, a couple of things stand out like a sore thumb. There is enough time to dissect this transcript, but lets chew on a few questions while I gather the facts for future publication.

It was sad to read the following statement: “………….purporting to be President/Chief Executive Officer and Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, respectively in Amakpe International, Inc.”( If the founders of a company (with majority shares 75%) cannot be the President/CEO and Vice President/ COO of a corporation they founded,  who then should be?, )

The statement further states: “The name Amakpe was coined from “Ama” (Amanam) and “kpe” (Ikpe).” ( What a trivial inclusion in a “serious” press conference, would the name have mattered if it was jeremiah or Monica International Refinery?). It goes to show how petty the Amakpe issue has been reduced to, by this government.

I must admit that the Maths in this Press Statement looks like fuzzy math to me, it states, “One year later (2000) Amakpe International, Inc, came up with a cost estimate of $60 million in a shares allocation and cooperation agreement and urged the Akwa Ibom State Government to pick up three percent allocation of shares amounting to $3 million of the project cost.” Can 3% of 60 = 3?, Interesting, and the $60 million was an ESTIMATE quoted in 2000, Right?, WRONG! WRONG!! WRONG!!!. The correct figure was $36 Million, obviously,  the AKSG does not have the facts and or related Project Documents.

The Deputy Governor (DG) said “Three things led to Government reconsidering its relationship with Amakpe. One, the Board met clandestinely in California (without the representatives of the Akwa Ibom State Government namely Prof. Ekpo and Mr Isok) and Chief Amanam moved a motion to allot the shares to AKIIPOC and the motion was seconded by Mrs. Ikpe……….” If the Board (of 2) met CLANDESTINELY in California without Government Reps, how did the DG find out who did what?, Was there  minutes of the clandestine meeting?, who took(wrote) the minutes and when did it show up at the DG’s desk?, if that was the story relayed to the DG by the previous government, did the DG bother to authenticate the story before swallowing line, hook and sinker?.

It is also interesting to note that the only time Obong Ekere, our now DG showed up in this Amakpe affairs is the visit to authenticate the 100% claim. Is it really true that he never attended any Amakpe Board meeting where decisions were made? Amakpe intends to present evidence to show government Representative’s participated in all key Board meetings and let Akwa Ibomites decide “who is fooling who?”.

The story about Escrow will be presented in a couple of days as well, so that Akwa Ibomites can know exactly “who has been fooling who”. How can Amakpe withdraw money that is lodged Government Akiipoc’s Account, when only Government officials as signatories?

Here is another sad story: Two, they (Amakpe) demanded that Governor Attah should approve the construction of access road to the refinery site at the cost of N79 million. This is very telling, a government, both previous and present who is interested in attracting Diaspora investors is “complaining” about building roads to a refinery but boast of building roads to Oron, Ikot Ekpene, Eket etc, but not one to a Refinery site? (And you want Diaspora to come and invest in the state while you promise them HEAVEN ON GOLD? WHO ARE YOU FOOLING?) Now, if money was the problem (and I doubt it considering these fuzzy math), couldn’t the state government have said, ” lets build a road to the refinery as part of the state government’s MASSIVE road network in the state?” It is doubtful that Amakpe would have said, ” No, don’t build us a road, we want money and if we don’t get it, we will abandon our multi million dollar refinery, HABA!, are Akwa Ibomites Lilliputians with no brains?

This might even be “laughably sad”: “Three, in spite of a consultant being recruited to hire a Chief Executive Officer, a project consultant, a company secretary and a quality control engineer for the refinery and persons being interviewed for these positions, these personnel were never hired.” So a minority share holder (25% AKSG) was not “allowed” to overide the majority shareholders (with 75% shares) to recruit and hire, is that what all this force is about? Fellow Akwa Ibomites, here is the company chosen by Amakpe to handle that business as opposed to government EXPERTS, http://www.turnermason.com/default.htm.

WOW!, here is another line: “Now sharing the worrries which prompted the Attah Administration to litigate, the (PRESENT) Government decided to authenticate claims by Team Amakpe that the refinery had been a hundred per cent completed in the fabrication yard of Pasedena, Texas. As the Executive Chairman of AKIIPOC then, I visited the plant in the company of the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Umana Umana and the Special Adviser  on Technical Matters, Engr Etido Inyang. What we found out was that the refinery was sadly not completed”. Today I weep for Akwa Ibom. So, three (3) AKS government officials who are not all engineers ( and even if they were, but whose specialty is not in Refinery Business) went to AUTHENTICATE the 100% claim by Amakpe and found out that AMAKPE was not completed”?. Ok people, I know we have very intelligent Akwa Ibomites all around the world, lets follow this logic.

Sometime in January 2010 Ventech Corporation (A renowned refinery firm) claimed 100% completion of Amakpe Refinery Module. In April 2010, three (3) AKS government officials visited the Ventech yard (spent about 2 hours) to authenticate the claims of Amakpe/Ventech. As later claimed in the Governments Press Conference,the refinery was “sadly not completed”. However, they (Govt.) did not communicate this “findings to Ventech nor Amakpe verbally or in writing (preferably for documentation purposes) until September 2011. In May 2010, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) visited Ventech yard (spent 9 days, May 10 – May 19, testing, checking and rechecking) the Amakpe Module, at the end of which the DPR issued  the following statements : “The inspection EXERCISE (emphasis mine) REVEALED that the fabrication of the major units of YOUR REFINERY project PHASE 1 (6000 BPSD) have been COMPLETED, and the DESIGN, MANUFACTURE and TESTING of THESE PROCESS and utility equipment WERE DONE IN LINE with INTERNATIONAL codes & STANDARDS and GOOD ENGINEERING PRACTICE.

The DPR letter then advised Amakpe to “make arrangement for SHIPMENT of the facilities to the project site for INSTALLATION.

HERE IS WHY I WEEP FOR AKWA IBOM STATE: Three (3) sets of people are involved in the authentication of the completion of Amakpe refinery Module in Pasadena TX, (1)Ventech corporation (The Manufacturer of the refinery, spent years building and testing the equipment), (2) Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN-DPR) (The licenser of the refinery spent 9 days at Ventech yard testing and checking the equipment) and (3) The Akwa Ibom State Government (AKIIPOC) ( The Minority share holder 25% of the refinery  spent 2hrs with DIGITAL CAMERAS filming/snaping pictures). The two (2) sets of people who did extensive CHECKS and TEST( Ventech and FGN) concluded that the Refinery Module had been 100% completely fabricated, however, the one who spent two (2) hours in suits (AKSG) just looking around the Ventech yard CONCLUDED that the refinery module was not complete. IS THERE ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT PICTURE OR AM I JUST CRYING FOR NOTHING?

It appears that AKSG is now claiming that the Federal Government of Nigeria through DPR, conspired with Amakpe to Dupe Akwa Ibom People, that is a hefty allegation to make agaist the Federal government headed by the Late Shehu Yar’Adua/ Goodluck Jonathan (please see documents and pictures attached).

When you take a critical look at the governments statement, you are bound to see the subtle reasons why officials of government are attempting to kill the Amakpe project, here is one of such statements: “We began to doubt the capacity of the promoters to undertake a project of this magnitude and at the same time we were alarmed by information which tended to indicate that they were borrowing from a lot of sources unknown to the State Government. And some of these lending institutions were becoming worried about the security of their funds”.

Hmmm!, yes, the project is huge, they call it multi-million dollar project and the Govt. is saying that no Akwa Ibomite is “capable” of such a project? WILL AN AKWA IBOMITE EVER BE CAPABLE OF SUCH PROJECTS? WHEN? if not NOW. When “little people” lie, it is bad, but when the government is economical with the truth to the people it “governs or rules”, it is criminal and shameful. How can the government (of the people?) claim that Amakpe was borrowing from “a lot of sources unknown to the state government” when all borrowed funds are on public display on Amakpe website for all to see. http://www.amakperefineries.com/investor/Current_Status_Report_July_2010.pdf.  If the government knows any other “lot of sources where money is borrowed”, let the government state those sources and let Akwa Ibomites know WHO IS FOOLING WHO?

Lending institutions are not worried about the viability of the Refinery (they know it is a money minter) nor are they worried about the integrity of Chief Amanam or Mrs Ikpe, the institutions are concerned about a government which sees a cash cow such as this refinery project and is so ABUSIVE to its own people, that it is willing to do everything in its power to kill the project and keep Akwa Ibomites in servitude within their own state. Accountability is not Amakpe’s problem, can the state government say the same?

At least PRICE WATER HOUSE COOPER, a formidable auditing company has audited Amakpe refinery, who are the auditors of the Akwa Ibom state government?. The neighboring Rivers State has been audited by Standard and Poor’s (S&P, who recently down-graded the U.S. credit), who has audited Akwa Ibom State? Other states have equally been audited, when will our state be audited and the audit report made public?

Fellow Akwa Ibomites, I have not gone into the fuzzy math presented in the press conference because at face value, it does not add up, does not make sense and only designed to confuse the unsuspecting public, It appears that the government, both past and present who did not keep adequate records of its stewardship to the Akwa Ibom people, and who had nothing to say all these years, waited for Amakpe ( a store house of meticulous record keeping) to put out a Press Release and having been mortally “wounded” by the facts in Amakpe’s Release, decided to “horriedly” put up an ” inaccurate” Press Conference. However, without its own set of facts, the government decided it would “borrow” pieces of information from Amakpe’s Press Release and concoct this ferry tale that doesn’t add up no matter how it is sliced. In the coming days, we will “wikiLeaks” Amakpe/Government documents so that our people can see transparency and demand same from our government, (we should “all” be able to embrace such transparency, shouldn’t we?

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