The Nigerian Senate on Thursday resolved to probe the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation over $396m expended on maintenance of refineries in the country between 2013 and 2015.
Accordingly, the Senate mandated the Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Upstream and Gas to carry out a holistic investigation on the expenditures and the current state of the refineries as well as convoke a stakeholders conference with the aim of finding ways to revamp them.
The decision to investigate spendings on maintenance of refineries by the corporation was reached after consideration of a motion brought to the floor by Senator Yusuf A. Yusuf (APC, Taraba Central).
The lawmaker noted that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has four refineries: two in Port-Harcourt (PHRC) and one each in Kaduna (KRPC) and Warri (WRPC).
According to him, the refineries were established to adequately supply and serve needs for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK), Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO), High Pour Fuel Oil (HPFO) and Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK) for both local consumption and exports.
He said, “The country through NNPC has in the past 25 years spent billions of US dollars in maintenance of the refineries, the latest being over $396m spent between 2013 and 2015 without meaningful result.
“The refineries have remained in moribund state in the last 15-20 years and is almost reaching total collapse due to lack of proposer maintenance of the facilities with a poor average capacity utilization hovering between fifteen per cent and twenty-five per cent per annum.
“Despite the huge spending on turn-around maintenance of refineries, NNPC recently announced a cumulative loss of N123.25bn in 10 months (January to October, 2019), putting the total revenue of facilities at N68.82bn, while total expenses incurred was N192.1bn within the same period.
“Such huge wastage and slippages amidst the nation’s tight economy, if not addressed, may lead the country back to recession.”