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In-Depth: Reps probe $20bn spent on maintenance of Nigeria’s refineries

The House of Representatives yesterday raised alarm over the whooping $20bilion so far spent on the Turn Around Maintenance, TAM, of the nation’s three refineries without commensurate results, and resolved to investigate every detail of the TAM.

It also vowed to unmask those with government approved refinery licences but declined to utilise them.
The resolutions were approved when it considered a motion on ‘the need to investigate the status of the nation’s four refineries, their Turn Around Maintenance to date and regular/modular licenced refineries sponsored by Honourable Ibrahim Isiaka.

Debating the motion, the lawmakers said it was appalling that Nigeria, as the 12th largest oil producing nation in the world, was still the only member of OPEC importing refined petroleum products.

It said that there were worries that not less than $20bilion had been spent for the turn around maintenance of the refineries with a 445,000 refine capacity of crude per day yet day in day out the facilities are still ridden with disrepairs with their average capacity utilisation at an abysmal 11 percent.

The lawmakers listed the various huge sums, ranging from $308million, $57million, $200million, as well as N264billion and another $1.8bilion the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, was said to be sourcing for another round of maintenance of the refineries to make it attractive to investors, yet all the efforts were to no avail.

According to them, fuel and other petroleum products are important to the general needs of the people, especially as an
alternative to power, hence there was the need to ascertain the status of the four refineries in the country and as well look at
considerations for private refineries through licences granted individuals, corporate bodies that have not been utilised,
despite reduction in license fee from $1million to $500,000. But arguing his motion, Hon Isiaka explained that it was
paramount that government put emphasis in ensuring affordable fuel for its people by doing the needful, such as
introducing a paradigm shift in maximising local production by designing a sustainable process Nigerians would benefit
from.

His prayers, which were approved among others, include the inauguration of an ad-hoc committee by the House to
ascertain the viability of continuing investments of public funds on the nation’s four refineries and allocation of 445,000
bpd crude utilisation for the same purpose. The special panel will further determine the current utilisation level of Warri,
Kaduna, and Port Harcourt Refineries and as well carry out a comprehensive investigation on the TAM carried out on
them till date.

They must as a matter of urgent national importance identify private and corporate individuals that have refused
to utilise the licences whether for modular or regular refineries, their readiness and current status of all holders and
report back in three months.

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