The Nigeria Extrac¬tive Industries Transparency Initia¬tive (NEITI) in Abuja on Wednesday recom¬mended the privatisation of the country’s refineries.
The NEITI executive secretary, Zainab Ahmed, made the recommendation at the investigative hearing on the alleged connivance of NNPC and Swiss oil com¬panies to defraud Nigeria of billions of dollars.
The hearing was at the instance of the House of Representatives’ commit¬tee on petroleum resources (upstream).
According to her, the re¬fineries are operating far be¬low their capacities, adding that their operations and overhead costs remained same irrespective of the volume of production.
She said that the 445,000 barrels per day allocation to the refineries should be reviewed to their actual refining capacity.
“As the refineries get older, their performance deteriorates due to the poor maintenance culture in place”, she said.
The executive secretary said that because of the in¬ability of the NNPC to utilise its domestic crude alloca¬tions, it usually exported them.
Ahmed said that NNPC had agreements with Soci¬ete Ivoirenne De Raffinage (SIR) and Nigermed for pro¬cessing some quantities of the crude oil offshore.
The executive secretary said that there was no cost efficiency in the transac¬tions with the offshore pro¬cessing organisations of SIR and Nigermed.
“When compared with the reported price of PMS (petrol), DPK (kerosene) and AGO (diesel) and the retained products pro¬ceeds paid to NNPC it is not economically beneficial”, Ahmed said.
She observed that NNPC alternative transactions which amounted to 22 bil¬lion dollars was not dis¬closed in the corporation’s audited financial state¬ments.
The chairman of the committee, Muraina Ajibo¬la (PDP-Oyo), said that CBN would be further invited to shed more light on the issues raised by NEITI.