During the Platform Nigeria symposium held on Monday in Lagos, Taiwo Oyedele, Chairman of the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee, raised concerns about the significant expenditure on Nigeria’s refineries, totalling over N10 trillion, while they remain non-functional. Oyedele suggested that it might be more beneficial to sell these refineries.
He stated, “Nigerians would say if only our refineries were working, then we will be fine. Nothing can be farther from the truth than that. In fact, Nigerians should come together and say please make sure that our refineries do not work. We should sell them.”
Nigeria has four state-owned refineries with a combined capacity of 445,000 barrels per day. However, all four refineries have been shut down for years due to disrepair.
Oyedele also pointed out that the National Assembly reported spending over N10 trillion on refinery maintenance even when they were not producing any output. He warned that if Nigerian refineries processed crude oil without addressing their inefficiencies, the cost of petrol would become the highest in the world, effectively replacing pump subsidies with refinery subsidies.
The National Assembly recently announced an investigation into the alleged N11.3 trillion spent by the Federal Government on turnaround maintenance for Nigeria’s refineries between 2010 and 2020. The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts expressed concerns about the dismal state of the refineries despite the substantial financial investments.
He stressed the need for accountability and consequences for wasteful spending.
Meanwhile, the government initiated another round of refinery rehabilitation for the Warri, Kaduna, and Port Harcourt refineries, with plans for their activation between December 2023 and 2024, according to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri.
Nigeria expects its four oil refineries to be operational by the end of next year, its new oil minister said on Friday, with the southern Port Harcourt plant seen starting as early as December.