BY Samuel Akpan
The house of representatives has resolved to investigate funds spent on the rehabilitation of Nigeria’s refineries.
At Wednesday’s plenary session, the house alleged that not less than $25 billion has been spent to repair the refineries over the years.
It also urged the federal government to grant license and provide incentives for the construction of more modular refineries in the country.
The house resolution was sequel to a matter of urgent public importance introduced by Onofiok Luke from Akwa Ibom state.
The move comes a week after the Buhari administration approved $1.5 billion for the repair of the Port Harcourt refinery in Rivers state.
The rehabilitation — which the federal executive council (FEC) approved to be carried out in three phases of 18, 24 and 44 months — was widely criticised.
While moving the motion, Luke said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has reportedly spent the $25 billion on the refineries in the past 25 years “with no profitable output.”
“The NNPC audit report had last year revealed that three of the nation’s four refineries recorded N1.64 trillion cumulative losses in their 2014 and 2018 details,” he added.
“Despite processing no crude oil in June last year, the three refineries still cost the country N10.23 billion in expenses.
“The three refineries processed no crude because of the rehabilitation works being carried out on them … but operational expenses amounted to N10.27 billion. This resulted in an operating deficit of N10.23 billion by the refineries.”
Luke further said the national assembly must ensure judicious use of the proposed $1.5 billion for the Port Harcourt refineries considering that the facility has failed to perform after years of repair.
The house subsequently adopted the motion and mandated its committee on petroleum resources to probe the issue.