The House of Representatives has criticised a bid by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC to spend $1.8 billion on the maintenance of the refineries across the country.
In a motion by Ibrahim Isiaka (Ogun – APC) at the plenary on Tuesday, he queried the viability of further expenditure on the country’s four refineries and the daily allocation of 445,000 barrels of crude to the facilities as they perform poorly.
“The House is cognisant that sums of $308 million, $57 million, $200 million, and lately, more than N264 billon were spent on refineries, yet it was reported that the NNPC is seeking $1.8 billion to carry out another TAM (Turn Around Maintenance) to make the refineries attractive to investors.”
He added that the federal government’s efforts to bring in private investors to build refineries had not yielded the desired result.
“Despite major paradigm shift and consideration of different reliefs, including reduction of licensing fee for new refineries from $1 million to $50,000 to make domestic refining attractive and reduce huge capital flight to fuel importation, only Aliko Dangote has put the licence to use.
“No efforts have been made to revoke the licences given to individuals and corporate organisations to build refineries, which have yet to be utilised”, he said.
He noted that $20 billion had already been spent on TAM but without appreciable improvement in performance to justify the fresh expenditure.
He added that Nigeria’s refineries had the worst performance record in Africa at, ”11 per cent, compared to the 81 per cent scored by Egypt and 85 per cent recorded by South Africa.”
The House unanimously also resolved to investigate and determine the current status of the four refineries.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, imports most of its petroleum products for domestic use.
The four refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna have a combined capacity to refine 445,000 barrels of crude per day.