The Senate has rejected a motion seeking to investigate the moribund condition of the nation’s refineries despite spending several trillions of naira on their maintenance.
The motion was moved by Karimi Steve (APC, Kogi West) at the plenary on Wednesday.
In the motion, Mr Steve prayed the Senate to constitute an ad-hoc committee to investigate all contracts awarded for the rehabilitation of all four federal government-owned refineries between 2010 and 2023.
He also prayed that the committee should visit all the government refineries to ascertain their conditions, prevent any attempt to waste resources, stop any form of corruption and also interrogate authorities in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and officers of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for their role in the failure of the refineries to produce oil.
Mr Steve added that the committee, when constituted, should invite managers of NNPCL and other petrol agencies to present their plans on Green Energy Sources in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to the Senate for possible review.
He stated that the Nigerian government had spent N11.35 trillion on the renovation of refineries from 2010 till date.
He also said the federal government had spent over N6 trillion between 2010 and 2020 on fuel subsidy due to Nigeria’s low refining capacity, and almost twice the amount have also been spent on rehabilitating refineries in Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Warri between the same period under review.
The Kogi senator noted that despite the moribund condition, the operating cost of the federal government refineries between 2010 and 2020 is estimated at N4.8 trillion.
Mr Steve said he was disturbed that the Port Harcourt Refinery Company is still not functioning despite the Nigerian government carrying out rehabilitation projects in the refinery for seven years between 2013 – 2019 at an estimated cost of over N12 billion.
He also said over N28 billion had been spent on revamping the Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company Limited from 2014 to 2019.
He added that over N2 billion have also been spent on the rehabilitation of the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company in the past ten years, but it remains unproductive.
But, the motion and prayers were rejected following the decision of the majority of the senators who spoke on it.
The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, therefore, announced that the motion would be stepped down until relevant ministers have been appointed by President Bola Tinubu.
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