James Emejo in Abuja
The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on the investigation of the state of the country four refineries, their turnaround maintenance (TAM) and regular/modular licensed refineries yesterday restated the resolution of the House directing the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachiku and the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Resources, Mr. Mainkati Baru, to halt the planned TAM on the refineries pending the outcome of the committeeâ€™s investigations.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, Chairman of the committee, Hon. Garba Datti Muhammad, said though it had commenced action on the matter, its attention had nonetheless, been drawn to latest moves by
the NNPC to proceed with the planned maintenance despite the resolution of the House to stay action on it.
The lower chamber had through a motion approved the setting up of the ad-hoc committee to among other things, ascertain the viability of continuing investments of public funds on the refineries and allocation of 45,000 barrels per day (bpd) crude utilisation for the same purpose.
It will also seeks to determine the current utilisation level of the Warri, Kaduna and Port Harcourt refineries and carry out a detailed investigation of TAM carried out till date on the refineries.
Furthermore, the probe would seek to identify the private and corporate individuals who have refused to utilise the licences (regular and modular), the readiness and status of all current holders and report back to the House for further legislative action.
However, Mohammad said he suspected that the latest rush by NNPC to effect the proposed TAM was as a result of the resolution of the green chamber.
He wondered why the maintenance had not taken place for a long time until lately.
He said: â€œWe want to unravel the mystery in the refineries. It is shameful that Nigeria is the only OPEC member state which imports refined oil out of 13 member countries.
â€œWe have a responsibility to Nigerians to unravel what has happened.â€
The chairman also pleaded with Nigerians to be patient with its activities as it intends to proffer amicable solutions with the epileptic operations of the four refineries as well as the perennial scarcity of petroleum products in the country.
He also sought full cooperation of stakeholders and the public in the course of the exercise.