Oil & Gas

Illegal Spending: Lawmakers Grill NNPC Top Officials

The House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee on the State of Refineries in Nigeria, on Friday evening, grilled top officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, now Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, in continuation of the investigation of the collapse of the refineries.

The NNPC told the committee that the ongoing rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery would be completed by March 2023.

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, said the rehabilitation, which contract was awarded on May 6, 2021, had attained 30 per cent completion level.

He added that while a part of the project would be delivered within 32 months, the entire project was expected to be completed within 42 months.

Kyari, who was represented by the Group General Manager, Refineries & Petrochemicals, Mustapha Yakubu, however, disclosed that the contracts for the rehabilitation of the Warri and Kaduna refineries had not been awarded. He also stated that the contract for the survey of the refineries followed due process.

There was a mild drama at the investigative hearing on the cost of a new refinery with production capacity of 150,000 barrels per day.

The committee requested for the Federal Executive Council’s approval of the $1.5bn for the Port Harcourt refinery, approval of various expenditures incurred on the 26th July, 2017, worth $5.321 million for comprehensive technical plans, as well as another $55m paid on the same day.

The lawmakers expressed their displeasure with the response from Sapien Engineering Company, which got the contract for the comprehensive technical survey of the Port Harcourt refinery at $135m, and an additional sum of £2.3m for the inspection of both Warri and Kaduna refineries.

After going through the documents submitted by NNPC to the committee, the lawmakers observed similar contracts for the three refineries were awarded to another company (Technomont) in 2019.

The Managing Director of Port Harcourt Refinery, Ahmed Dikko, disclosed that full conversion plant would cost $4.5bn and would be completed within five years.

However, the lawmakers Saif they observed that the same project would cost $90m in America.

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