After several attempts to get the Chief Executive Officers of the Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries to appear before the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on the state of the country’s refineries, to account for funds spent on the rehabilitation of the refineries over the years, the Committee has issued a 7-day ultimatum to the Minister of State for Petroleum to appear before the committee or risk the wrath of the law.
Hon. Ganiyu Abiodun, Chairman of the committee, made this known in a press conference held on Thursday in Abuja.
The Committee also issued the same ultimatum to the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and the Chief Executive Officers of the Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries.
EnergyDay gathered that the Committee was inaugurated in 2021, with a view to conducting a comprehensive audit of the estimated sum of $25 billion allegedly spent on Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of the four refineries over the past 25 years by successive administrations.
The Federal Government through the NNPC awarded about $1.5billion contract for the rehabilitation work on the Port Harcourt refinery, phased at an estimated completion period of 44 months (approximately – 4 years) with three components funding from NNPC, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), budgetary allocations provisions, and Afreximbank. The government also awarded $900 million and $1.3 billion for the Warri and Kaduna refineries respectively.
Hon. Abiodun on Thursday revealed that the committee was forced to issue the ultimatum following the failure of the officials to honour three invitations earlier sent to them.
He said, “We are compelled to hold this press conference 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 (PHRC), Warri Refinery and Petrochemicals Company (WRPC) and Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemicals Company (KRPC) had all been operating at gross losses since 2010 before they were finally shut down in 2019.
“This committee has the mandate of the house of representatives and the constitutional responsibility to demand accountability from those in positions of managing our resources.
“It is worrisome that the GMD of the NNPC, the minister of state for petroleum resources and the general managers of Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries have refused on three invitations to appear before the committee to account for the billions of dollars spent on the rehabilitation of the refineries over the years.
“As chairman of this honourable committee, I hereby summon the GMD of the NNPC, the minister of state for petroleum resources and the general managers of Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries to appear before the committee on Thursday, April 28, 2022 to avoid legal, constitutional and parliamentary measures to be taken against them in order to compel them to appear.’’
“The committee specifically requested the GMD to provide the following; an appraisal of the current state of refineries in the Country: 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.
“Copies of annual budgets on rehabilitation by the refineries: PHRC, WRPC and KRPC from 2012 to date and a list of approvals/fund releases for rehabilitation of refineries from 2012 to date.
“List of all contracts awarded for rehabilitation of refineries and award letters issued to service providers and contractors and the Actual Cost of Projects (Contracts) and Review (if any) stated in Naira.
“Work Completion Certificates issued on rehabilitation projects carried out on refineries, 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 and any other relevant information to assist the Committee in the course of this assignment.’’