National Assembly stops NNPC’s bid for $400m loan for refineries 

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja

The House of Representatives Committee on Privatization and Commercialisation has stopped the bid by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to acquire a $400 million loan for the upgrade of the nation’s four refineries in the country. According to the chairman of the committee, Ahmed Yerima the NNPC breached Section 11 (g) of the Public Enterprises (Privatisation and Commercialization) Act 1999, which gives the National Council on Privatisation the power to do so. 

Members of the committee urged the NNPC to suspend its proposed restructuring/Privatisation of the four refineries because of the breach of the regulations in the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE). 

They stated that the move was also due to the Presidency’s delay in inaugurating the National Council on Privatisation (NCP). 

They also resolved to formally communicate to President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to adhere to due process and avoid pitfall of  commercialisation and privatisation exercises that were made in the past. 

The Committee noted that breach of policy guidelines and extant regulatory framework and undue rivalry among Government agencies is giving investors concern. 

According to NNPC document submitted to the Committee and obtained by our Correspondent, “in 2015, the refineries posted combined losses of N82 billion and processed only 8 million barrels of crude in total.” 

At the meriting yesterday, the failure of the NNPC management to present documents showing the approval allegedly given by the President for the proposed improvement of the refineries’ capacity utilisation to 80% within one year on the basis of the subsisting ownership structure, made members of the committee angry. 

Also the $50 million agreement signed by NNPC with a Chinese company, without any clear work plan got the disapproval of the lawmakers. 

Group Executive Director (Refineries) Anibor Kragah, who spoke for NNPC, said the report on the privatisation of the refineries, was not true.

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