How senate indicted Kachikwu, Baru over P/Harcourt refinery
The senate, last week, accused the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Maikanti Barau, of violating due process in engaging AGIP/ENI/ Oando for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery.
The accusation followed the adoption of the report of the Senate Adhoc Committee on the Concession of the Port Harcourt Refinery chaired by Senator Abubakar Kyari(APC, Borno).
The resolutions adopted during the plenary chaired by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, read in part that the senate: “condemns the non-transparent process that is seemingly being adopted by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources/Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to engage ENI/NAOC and Oando as financiers to rehabilitate and improve performance of the Port Harcourt Refinery.
“That the process to rehabilitate refineries must be open, competitive and transparent, with the participation of all relevant stakeholders, otherwise it would be construed as backdoor transfer of the asset to a preferred investor.”
The senate resolved that the discussions with ENI/NAOC with respect to revamping of the Port Harcourt Refinery must be discontinued forthwith and that an open, competitive and transparent process be put in place to ensure that the nation derived the full benefits of involving private sector investors.
“That competent independent technical consultants should be engaged to review the diagnostic report (under preparation) on the Port Harcourt Refinery and recommend a suitable strategy for attracting private sector investment, taking into consideration re-appraised rehabilitation cost estimates, environmental concerns of host communities and labour issues,” it stated.
It insisted that public invitation for bids under clearly spelt out terms and conditions should be re-advertised.
“That the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, NNPC, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) should collaborate for national interest in accordance with extant laws,” the senate said.
Earlier, while presenting the report of his committee, Senator Kyari said there was no synergy between NNPC, BPE and ICRC on the Port Harcourt Refinery.
“The issue of the oil and gas sector needs to be addressed as a national emergency but in a transparent manner in order to increase revenue generation, create employment and infrastructural development,” he said.