The Nigerian Senate has ordered the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to suspend the planned concession of the Port Harcourt Refinery to Agip and Oando.
The Senate said the process should be suspended due to concerns over the transparency of the process.
This was sequel to a motion by Sabo Mohammed.
Speaking at plenary on Tuesday, 30 May 2017, the Jigawa state lawmaker noted that the federal government entered a deal Agip and not Oando.
“The federal government recently entered into an agreement with Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), a subsidiary of ENI, an Italian oil giant to construct a $15 billion refinery in the Niger Delta region, a deal which also includes investment by Agip in a power plant with the Italian company assisting Nigeria in the repairs of the Port Harcourt refinery,” Mohammed said.
“The minister of state for petroleum resources stated that the agreement was part of a broader federal government plan to increase capacity for local production and consumption of petroleum products with the aim of ending fuel importation in Nigeria by 2019.
“While the resolve by the federal government to increase local refining capacity is laudable and should be applauded by all Nigerians, the observance of corporate governance principles and the country’s extant laws must be followed to the letter.
“The confusion became obvious following the disclosure on May 11, 2017, by the chief executive officer of Oando Plc on the floor of the Nigeria Stock Exchange that the group had received approval of the Federal Government to repair, operate and maintain the Port Harcourt Refinery Company with their partner Agip.
“This development would have been wonderful because it would mean an end to importation of refined products by the year 2020, but many questions are begging for answers, such as is it Agip/ENI or Oando Plc that is taking over Port Harcourt Refinery?
“Was there the observance of the privatisation law as regards due diligence, selection from preferred bidders before ceding of the Port Harcourt Refinery to Agip/Oando?,” the lawmaker asked.
Mohammed expressed displeassure that the Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries were not producing up to 50 percent as lbe Kachukwu had promised.