• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Reps summon Ministers, NNPC, CBN, others over poor state of refineries

Reps ask FG to auction of police barracks over poor maintenance

The House of Representatives has invited Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and national planning; Timipre Sylva, the minister of state for petroleum resources; Mele Kyari, the group managing director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited and Godwin Emiefele, governor of Central Bank (CBN) to appear before it next week Thursday to give an account of the true state of refineries and what is needed to be done for them to function at maximum refining capacity.

The House Adhoc Committee investigating the state of refineries in the country which made the invitation at its hearing on Thursday also requested the presence of other relevant key government stakeholders.

They include; Accountant-General of the Federation, Auditor-General of the Federation, Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Authority, the Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited (PHRC), the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited (KRPC), the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited (WRPC), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House, had in January 2022 constituted the ad-hoc committee to determine the state of refineries in the country and what is needed to bring them back to maximum refining capacity.

The committee was mandated to work with NNPC, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, and other relevant stakeholders to obtain the needed information in order to carry out the assignment.

The committee swung into action and on February 24, 2022, requested the GMD of the NNPC for a Status Report on the nation’s refineries, particularly “appraisal of the current state of refineries in the Country: from year 2012 to date, Copies of annual budgets on rehabilitation by the refineries from year 2012 to date, List of approvals/fund releases for rehabilitation of refineries from year 2012 to date, List of all Contracts awarded for rehabilitation of refineries and award letters issued to service providers and contractors from year 2012 to date.

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“Actual Cost of Projects (Contracts) and Review (if any) stated in Naira, Work Completion Certificates issued on rehabilitation projects carried out on refineries from year 2012 to date, Evidence of payments made for all such contracts awarded from year 2012 to date, List of service providers and contractors that handled the rehabilitation of refineries from year 2012 to date and any other relevant information to assist the Committee in the course of this assignment”.

The lawmakers had acknowledged receipt of their submissions and information so far provided but pointed out that the submission made by the NNPC did not adequately provide answers to most of the requests made to them by the letter.

Therefore, in a second letter to the GMD dated 17 March 2022 inviting him to the interactive session the panel specifically requested for, “Copies of approved budget documents on rehabilitation by the refineries: Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC); Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited (WRPC) and Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited (KRPC)) from year 2012 to date, Evidence of approvals for rehabilitation of the refineries from year 2012 to date, Evidence of fund releases for rehabilitation of the refineries from year 2012 to date, Copies of all Contracts awarded for rehabilitation of refineries and award letters issued to service providers and contractors from year 2012 to date.”

Others are: “Copies of Work Completion Certificates issued on rehabilitation projects carried out on refineries from year 2012 to date, Evidence of payments made for all such contracts awarded from year 2012 to date, What is needed to bring the Refineries back to maximum refining capacity and any other relevant information to assist the Committee in the course of this assignment.”

Johnson Ganiyu, Chairman of the ad-hoc Committee while speaking at the hearing said the summon became necessary following the failure of the ministers and the other invited government officials to honour earlier invitations.

He said Nigerians are pained and not happy with the current state of affairs regarding the oil sector of the economy, hence subsidy is no longer sustainable and ways must be sought to develop the country’s refining capacity to satisfy daily local consumption needs.

In another development, the House had earlier suspended plenary and adjourned to next week Tuesday as the presiding officers; Femi Gbajabiamila Speaker and Idris Ahmed-Wase said they have an urgent security meeting to attend.

Gbajabiamila announced this at resumed plenary shortly after opening prayers and presentation of petitions while other items such as urgent matters, presentation of reports, bills and motions listed in the order paper were not taken.