Reps direct NNPC to stop joint venture investments
Lasun laments losses recorded in oil earnings
The House of Representatives yesterday directed the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to stop its joint investments ventures with some foreign companies.
The Reps Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation headed by Mr. Ahmed Yerima explained that the directive was based on the fact that the process had been in breach of due process.
Yerima, who spoke during an interactive session with the management of the NNPC and Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on the planned privatisation of three Nigerian refineries in Abuja said, “I think there is a clear violation of the law in seeking investments based on what the BPE Director General said.”
The Minister of State for Petroleum and Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu acknowledged that the NNPC has no powers to privatise any of its refineries and that they were only seeking for funds to get the refineries back to work.
Represented by Mr. Anibor Kragba, Group Executive Director (GED) of Refineries, Kachikwu explained that they decided to put up some publications in a section of the media in an effort to have joint investment ventures with interested companies.
Acting Director General of BPE, Mr. Vincent Akpotarie disclosed that the refineries that were privatised had been reversed in 2007 just as he expressed reservation with the joint venture agreements due to experience of the past.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr. Suleimon Yussuff Lasun was full of lamentation yesterday over the country’s inability to harness its oil resources over the years.
Speaking while receiving the 2013 Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, (NEITI) at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja, Lasun remarked that it was unfortunate that Nigeria is still at the mercy of foreigners in the oil sector.
This situation, he maintained has rendered Nigeria poor when placed on the same scale with equally endowed countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
Ruing the situation, he noted: “We have lost a lot in the oil industry. We don’t have the technology, we lack the skill and we are not even in the best position to do marketing of the oil industry. Foreigners dictate everything. We are only oil producing country-exporting oil.”
“It is unfortunate that we cannot refine our oil. And even when we swap 450,000 barrel of crude per day, we give it to foreign refineries to refine fuel for us. We don’t know of what remains of the diesel, kerosene that is not part of what they return to us. So, from the point of swapping, we are already being shortchanged in multiple means.”