Oil and Gas

Reps allege cover-up on refineries, summon Sylva, Kyari

The House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee on the State of Refineries in Nigeria has summoned the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari. The officials of the management of the nation’s refineries were also summoned to appear before the panel.

Non-appearance by the stakeholders had botched the investigative hearing of the committee scheduled for March 31, 2022.

The committee, which condemned the invitees for allegedly shunning a series of invitations to its investigative hearing, threatened to invoke legislative powers against them at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr Ganiyu Johnson, who was miffed by the non-appearance, said, “We have a situation here!”

Johnson recalled that the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, had constituted this committee to determine the actual cost of rehabilitating the refineries and what is needed to bring them back to maximum refining capacity.

He added that the committee was mandated to determine the true state of the refineries, ascertain the actual cost of rehabilitating the refineries, and what is needed for the refineries to function at maximum refining capacity.

Johnson said, “The committee, therefore, relying on relevant laws and pursuant to the provisions of Sections 62, 88, and 89 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), requested the GMD of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to forward a status report on the nation’s Refineries and the actual cost of rehabilitating the refineries from 2012 to date.”

According to the chairman, the details requested from the GMD included an appraisal of the current state of refineries in the country – Port Harcourt Refining Company, Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited and Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited – from the year 2012 to date.

Others are copies of annual budgets on rehabilitation by the refineries from year 2012 to date; list of approvals/fund releases for rehabilitation of refineries from the year 2012 to date; and list of all contracts awarded for the rehabilitation of refineries and award letters issued to service providers and contractors from the year 2012 to date.

Also demanded are the actual cost of projects (contracts) and review (if any) stated in naira; work completion certificates issued on rehabilitation projects carried out on refineries from the year 2012 to date; evidence of payments made for all such contracts awarded from the year 2012 to date; list of service providers and contractors that handled the rehabilitation of refineries from the year 2012 to date; and any other relevant information to assist the committee in the course of this assignment.

Johnson said, “We are compelled to make this press statement because of the continued refusal and flagrant disregard of the GMD of the NNPC, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the General Managers of Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna refineries to the invitations to appear before the committee.

“We consider this continued refusal and negligence to appear before the committee as disrespect to the leadership of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The committee is worried that the Port Harcourt Refining Company, Warri Refinery, and Petrochemicals Company and Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemicals Company had all been operating at gross losses since 2010 before they were finally shut down in 2019.

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