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Reps query bid to spend $1.8bn on refineries

The House of Representatives on Tuesday 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.

It queried a fresh bid by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to spend $1.8bn on the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of the refineries located in Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Warri.

The House noted that the refineries had already gulped more than $20bn on TAM but without appreciable improvement in performance to justify the fresh expenditure.

The House said 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.

A motion moved by a member from Ogun State, Mr. Ibrahim Isiaka, described the performance of the refineries as abysmal.

“The House is cognisant that sums of $308m, $57m, $200m, and lately, more than N264bn were spent, yet it was reported that the NNPC is seeking $1.8bn to carry out another TAM to make the refineries attractive to investors,” Isiaka stated.

He recalled that efforts by the Federal Government to bring private investors on board to build new refineries had also not been successful.

Isiaka stated, “Despite major paradigm shift and consideration of different reliefs, including reduction of licensing fee for new refineries from $1m 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.”

Tuesday’s session, which was presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yussuff Lasun, resolved to determine the current health status of the four refineries by investigating the TAM carried out so far on them

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