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National Assembly to probe poor performing refineries

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The Senate has resolved to investigate the poor state of the nation’s refineries, lamenting that in spite of a whopping $25 billion spent on their turn around maintenance (TAM) in the last 25 years, they still remain moribund.

A resolution to investigate the poor state of the refineries followed a motion brought before the Senate through a point of order by Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (APC, Taraba State).

Adopting the motion titled, “The Moribund Refineries In The Country,” the Senate mandated three of its committees to investigate them and report back to it.

In his presentation, Yusuf said billions of dollars have been spent on TAM of the refineries, but added that they still face total collapse.

“There is negligence on the part of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the non-functioning of the nation’s refineries.

“Accordingly, the Senate resolved to investigate their non-performance, urging the NNPC to do total overhaul of the refineries,” he added.

The Senate also directed its committees on Petroleum, Upstream/Down Stream and Gas to carry out an oversight on the Nigeria refineries and report back to the chamber.

“The committees are to investigate the TAM carried out by the NNPC and ascertain their current state,” Senate President, Ahmad Lawan said.

Speaking, Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun Central), who commended Yusuf for the motion, said one of the challenges facing the country was lack of maintenance culture.

He said it was not the first time attention was drawn to the near collapse of the country’s refineries, and urged his colleagues to do a thorough job during the investigation process.

“Oil should be a blessing to us, but in Nigeria, it make a lot of establishments lazy. We should be concerned about it. The refineries are in bad shape and people now take the crude outside the country and bring back refined products at higher prices.

“The downstream committee should critically look at the problem because $25 billion went down the drain in turn around maintenance of the refineries in the last 25 years,” he said, insisting that they must ensure that all strategic assets, including the refineries work in the country for better revenue generation.

“It will be on the interest of all of us to increase the internally generated revenue. The country through NNPC has in the past 25 years huge amounts of money on the refineries, the latest being over $396 million spent between 2013 and 2015 without meaningful results,” he added.


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