Worried by the current poor state of the nation’s four refineries, the House of Representatives yesterday resolved to investigate $396.33m spent on turnaround maintenance in 4 years.
The resolution was a sequel to a motion titled “Call for Investigation of the $396. 33 Million Allegedly Spent in Four Years on Turn Around Maintenance of the Nation’s Three Refineries”, moved by Hon. Ifeanyi Chudy Momah at the plenary.
While moving the motion, Hon. Momah said that Nigeria’s three major refineries situated at Port- Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna, with an installed capacity to refine 445,000 barrels of oil, enough for domestic consumption and export had not performed optimally.
He said that the underperformance was due to a combination of factors, including corruption and inefficiency in the running of the refineries which regular “Turn Around Maintenances” have been mismanaged over the years.
He noted that the Nigeria National Resource Charter (NNRC) implements the Natural Resources Charter, (NRC) in Nigeria, which is a set of principles intended for use by Governments, Societies and the International Community to determine how best to manage natural resources wealth for the benefit of current and future generations of citizens.
He said: “The House observes the assertion by the NNRC in the report that the NNPC spent a whopping $396.33 million between 2013 and 2017 to carry out repair works under the “Turn Around Maintenance” (TAM) scheme on its three decrepit refineries at Port-Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna;’
“Also observes the claim that the NNPC also spent N276.872 billion on operating expenses of the refineries between 2015 and 2018, as well as $36 billion on the importation of petroleum products between 2013 and 2017;
“Informed that the three refineries contribute less than ten (10) per cent annually to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and they are also among the league of refineries with the highest operating costs worldwide, as their consolidated capacity utilization dropped to 6.1 per cent at the end of September 2017;
“Concerned that the strategic goal of establishing local refining facilities and its associated supply chain as a socio-economic game-changer that will result in national development has continued to elude the country’s oil and gas industry;
“Further observes that going by the reckoning of the NNRC, the $36 billion the Country spent on importation of petroleum products in the last four years could have built four brand new refineries of similar capacity for the Country with the same 650,000 barrels per day processing capacity as the refinery that Dangote Group is currently building in Lagos State;
“Worried about the huge costs of undertaking the “Turn Around Maintenance” of the refineries, which, despite all the expenses, have remained comatose, leaving the Country dependent on the importation of refined petroleum products for its domestic consumption at great expenses to the nation and national pride”.
Adopting the motion, the House called on the Federal Government to consider divesting a ‘certain percentage of its shareholding in Port-Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries to competent investors under the transparent and fair bidding process.
It mandated its Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to conduct an investigative hearing on the processes of the “Turn Around Maintenance” (TAM) at the Port-Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) between 2013 and date.
The Committee was given 8 weeks conclude and report back to the House for further legislative action.
Meanwhile, a member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Hon. Dozie Nwankwo yesterday took his oath of office.
Nwankwo was declared the rightful winner of the parliamentary election that took place in Njikoka/Dunukofia federal constituency of Anambra State by the Court of Appeal against the previous occupant of the seat, Hon. Valentine Ayika.
Speaking to Journalists after his inauguration, Nwankwo said that his victory was a call to double his efforts for the good of his people.
He said: “I am quite delighted today that after all the legal tussles and we have done and gone through the courts; today in my life, I am quite happy and I give glory to God.
“Yes, of course, I have been doing what I have called to do, making laws and making sure my people are empowered, attracting good projects to my constituency. I have been doing that. What I will do with this victory is to redouble my efforts and make sure I increase in lawmaking which is our primary responsibility. Apart from that, creating jobs. You know our people need employment, I am here to make sure it works and that my people will benefit from anything they are supposed to benefit in that house”.
The lawmaker called on his opponent to ” join me, let’s work for our people”.