The Senate on Thursday resolved to probe the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over the sum of $396 million expended on Turn-Around Maintenance of refineries in the country between 2013 and 2015.
Following the resolution, the Upper Chamber mandated its Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Upstream, and Gas to carry out a holistic investigation on the Turn-Around Maintenance expenditures and the current state of the refineries, as well as convene a stakeholders conference with the aim of finding ways to revamp them.
The decision to investigate spending on maintenance of refineries by NNPC was reached after consideration of a motion brought to the floor by Senator Yusuf Yusuf from Taraba State.
Senator Yusuf told his colleagues that the NNPC has four refineries – two in Port Harcourt (Rivers State) and one each in Kaduna and Warri, (Delta State).
According to him, the refineries were established to adequately supply and serve needs for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK), Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO), High Pour Fuel Oil (HPFO), and Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK) for both local consumption and exports.
“The country through NNPC has in the past 25 years spent billions of US dollars in Turn-Around Maintenance of the refineries, the latest being over $396 million spent between 2013 and 2015 without meaningful result,” the lawmaker said.
He added, “The refineries have remained in the moribund state in the last 15-20 years and are almost reaching total collapse due to lack of proposer maintenance of the facilities with a poor average capacity utilisation hovering between 15 per cent and 25 per cent per annum.
“Despite the huge spending on turn-around maintenance of refineries, NNPC recently announced a cumulative loss of N123.25 billion in 10 months (January – October 2019), putting the total revenue of facilities at N68.82 billion, while total expenses incurred was N192.1 billion within the same period.”
Senator Yusuf warned that such huge wastage and slippages amidst the nation’s tight economy, if not addressed, may lead the country back to recession.