The federal government of Nigeria had spent the sum of N11.35 trillion for the rehabilitation of refineries across the country in 13-years, a report has revealed.
Probing the amount gulp on the rehabilitation project, the Senate has raised an ad hoc committee to investigate all the contracts awarded for the rehabilitation of all state-owned refineries.
The senate also mandated the panel to interrogate the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited and the Bureau of Public Enterprises on the best approach to commercialise state-owned refineries.
Senator Isah Jibrin Echocho was appointed as the chair
Other members are chairmen of the Committees on Petroleum Resources (Downstream, Upstream and Gas), Finance, Appropriation, and Public Accounts.
The committee are expected to submit their report within four weeks.
The resolutions followed a motion by Senator Sunday Karimi (APC, Kogi) during Tuesday’s plenary.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that Nigeria’s four refineries in Kaduna, Warri and Port Harcourt had become moribund for years despite the series of repairs executed under various Turn Around Maintenance contracts that had gulped huge amounts.
Karimi, in his motion, expressed concern that the state-owned refineries have been serious drain pipes of public finance, depriving citizens of the joy of being an oil-producing nation.
According to him, between 2010 and now, Nigeria is estimated to have spent N11.35trillion, excluding other costs in other currencies which include $592, 976, 050.00, 4, 877, 068.47 Euros and 3, 455, 656.93 Pounds, on the renovation of refineries, yet they are unproductive.
He said despite the moribund state of the four refineries, their operating costs between 2010 and 2020 are estimated at N4.8 trillion.
The refineries are estimated to make the cumulative loss of N1.64 trillion, within four years, he added.
He expressed worry that if a thorough investigation of the past and current rehabilitation projects is not undertaken by the Senate, the circle of awarding unproductive turnaround maintenance contracts may not abate, thereby retaining the status quo where rehabilitation contracts have become conduit pipes for siphoning public funds.
Yusuf Oketola is a trained journalist with over five years of experience in the media industry. He has worked for both print and online medium. He is a thorough-bred professional with an eye of hindsight on issues bothering on social justice, purposeful leadership, and a society where the leaders charge and work for the prosperity of the people.