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Refineries: Reps probe $1.5bn Planned Rehabilitation, Past Repairs

The House of Representative has resolved to investigate the fresh $1.5bn recently approved by the Federal Executive Council to rehabilitate the Port Harcourt refinery.

The House will also be probing into the rehabilitation and maintenance exercises on other refineries in the country over the years.

At the plenary on Wednesday, the House unanimously adopted a motion of urgent public importance moved by Mr Onofiok Luke titled ‘Motion on the need to ensure transparency and accountability in the rehabilitation exercise of the nation’s refineries’.

Following the motion’s adoption, the House mandated its Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to “carry out an investigative hearing and conduct a comprehensive audit of funds previously spent on the rehabilitation/repairs and maintenance of the Port Harcourt refinery and other refineries in the country, and the key performance indicators therefrom.”

The committee is to also examine the performance bond, assurance, warrantees and guarantees put in place for operating and maintaining the plants after commissioning.

Furthermore, the House urged the Federal Government to grant licences and provide incentives for the building and construction of modular refineries.

Moving the motion, Luke noted that the regime led by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had repeatedly vowed not to spend more fund on repairs of the moribund refineries.

He said, “The House notes the recent news of the approval of the sum of $1.5bn, about N575bn, for immediate commencement of rehabilitation work on the 32-year-old Port Harcourt refinery phased at an estimated completion period of 44 months- approximately, four years – with a three-component funding from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Internally Generated Revenue, budgetary allocations provisions and Afreximbank.”

The announcement by the Federal Government had generated public outcry.

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar had partly said the cost appears prohibitive.

A former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, had said the news of the planned expenditure of a whopping $1.5bn on was worrisome.

The Founder, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Mr Atedo Peterside, on the other hand, had asked the Federal Government to halt the approval.

The House had earlier on November 21, 2019, resolved to investigate the ‘Turn Around Maintenance’ of the petroleum refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna within four years, costing a total sum of $396.33m.

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