An Ad-hoc Committee of the House of Representatives, which investigated the current state of Nigeria’s refineries, has disclosed that about N11.3 trillion was expended on the rehabilitation of the facilities from 2020 to date.
The disclosure was contained in the report of the Hon. Ganiyu Abiodun Johnson-led committee, which the House considered and adopted Tuesday.
Outlining its findings in the course of the investigation, the committee said: “The estimated total cost of rehabilitating the Nigerian refineries from 2020 to date may be put at Eleven Trillion, Three Hundred and Forty-Nine Billion, Five Hundred and Eighty-Three Million, One Hundred and Eighty-Six Thousand, Three hundred and Thirteen Naira, Forty Kobo Only (N11,349,583,186,313.40).”
It explained that “these costs were gotten from four sub heads such as; Cost of Operations and running the Refineries, Cost of Rehabilitation Projects, Subsidy Payments, and Deductions from Federation Account for rehabilitation.”
The committee further disclosed that there were additional expenditure done in foreign currencies.
“Other additional costs of rehabilitations were funded in foreign currencies to the tune of Five Hundred and Ninety-Two Million, Nine Hundred and Seventy-Six Thousand, Fifty Dollars (USD 592,976,050.00); Four Million, Eight Hundred and Seventy-Seven Thousand, Sixty-Eight Euros, Forty-Seven cents (4,877,068.47), and Three Million, Four Hundred and Fifty-Five Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty-Six Pounds, Ninety-Three shillings (GBP 3,455,656.93)”, it said in the report.
According to the committee, from year 2010 to 2019, the nation’s refineries were performing sub-optimally with an annual combined capacity of less than 30%. Therefore, in year 2019 the NNPC obtained an Executive approval and shut down the refineries for comprehensive rehabilitation to restore the plants to a minimum of 90% nameplate capacity utilisation.”
The report put the total losses from the moribund refineries since 2010 at N366.5 billion.
It stated further that “the total cost of operations and running the refineries from year 2010 – 2020 is put at Four Trillion, Eight Hundred Billion, Six Hundred and Two Million, Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (₦4,800,602,450,000.00) only”, amongst other findings.”
in its recommendations, the committee advised that the NNPCL should take full advantage of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 passed by the National Assembly to fast track the rehabilitation programme of the refineries empowered by the legislative intent for a deregulated Business Environment and restore the refineries to minimum 90% nameplate capacity utilisation.
It also said the incoming 10th National Assembly should be mandated to carry out legislative oversight on the ongoing rehabilitation works to ensure the nation achieves the expected processing capacity of 189,000 Barrels Per Day from the PHRC (54,000BSPD from OPHR+135,000BSPD from NPHR) and 75,000BSPD from WRPC, plus whatever additional processing capacity from the Dangote Refinery, in order to meet the nation’s domestic needs for petroleum products by December, 2023.
NLC explains suspended strike
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Tuesday said the planned industrial action was suspended following what they described as “continuous weaponisation of the instrument of ex parte injunction in favour of the government against the interests of Nigerian workers in defiance of the position of the Supreme Court on the use of this instrument”
According to a communiqué issued at the end of an emergency NEC meeting, the Congress said as an organisation that respects the rule of law, the planned industrial action had been suspended pending the final negotiation on the issue in contention.
The communiqué which was signed by NLC President Comrade Joe Ajaero and General Secretary Comrade Emma Ugboaja read: “To demonstrate to the federal government the need to comply with the Laws of the land especially as it concerns obedience to the rulings of the Courts and their brazen disregard to the 2023 Appropriation Act.
The Congress also directed all Affiliates and State councils of the NLC to stop further mobilisation and await further directives on the planned action.
The NEC further told members “to therefore support and accept the decision of the leadership of Congress to suspend the proposed strike action in compliance with the flawed rulings of the NIC and also allow negotiations to flow freely and enable final agreement during or after the 19th June, 2023 negotiation round with the federal government.”
The congress registered “in strongest terms its disgust and disapproval with the ruling of the National Industrial Court (NIC) for its continuous weaponization of the instrument of ex parte injunction in favour of Government against the interests of Nigerian workers in defiance of the position of the Supreme Court on the use of this instrument.
“All Affiliates and State Councils of Congress are hereby directed to suspend further action and mobilisation until the outcome of the final negotiations”.
It would be recalled that the Trade Union Congress (TUC) as part of her demands to the federal government demanded about N200.000 National Minimum Wage.
They also asked for PMS allowance for workers who may be earning between N200.000 and N500.000.