The House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee investigating the state of refineries in Nigeria 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.
The Chairman of the committee, Rep. Ganiyu Abiodun (APC-Lagos state) issued the ultimatum at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja.
Also to appear before the committee is the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the General Managers of the refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna.
Abiodun said the committee was forced to issue the ultimatum following failure of the officials to honour three invitations earlier sent to them.
“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 ninister 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 mnister 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,” he said.
The rep said the committee was aware that the NNPC recently awarded contracts for rehabilitation of refineries in the following sums: WRPC 900 million dollars, PHRC 1.5 billion dollars and KRPC 1.3 billion dollars.
He recalled that the committee was constituted to determine actual cost of rehabilitating the refineries and what was needed to bring them back to maximum refining capacity.
According to him, the committee is mandated to determine the true state of the refineries, ascertain the actual cost of rehabilitating and what is needed for the refineries to function at maximum capacity.
He said the committee relied 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).
The rep said the committee requested the GMD of the NNPC to provide a status report on the nation’s refineries and the actual cost of rehabilitating the refineries from 2012 to date.
“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,”he said.
The lawmaker said that as members of the national assembly and representatives of the people, they had the constitutional duty to name and demand from those responsible.
He said that legislators needed to know the problems besetting the refineries in order to proffer solutions for a sustainable future and for the benefit of all Nigerians. (NAN