The Nigerian government has denied approving or signing any MOU with a private company, Oando for the concessioning of the Port Harcourt refinery.
Minister of state for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu clarified this at a public hearing on Thursday where the Senate heard how Nigeria’s oil company, NNPC, embarked on efforts to involve Oando in the running of the refinery without
allowing for competitive bidding or following due process.
TVC News Sumner Sambo reports that Oil industry players and other public interest organizations at the Senate
hearing accused the NNPC and the petroleum ministry of favouring OANDO in the processes leading to the revamping of the Port Harcourt refinery through opaque terms such as concessioning, refinancing among others.
Petroleum minister Ibe Kachikwu and OANDO officials denied any plans for concession but the committee says from all documents retrieved, there seemed to be one in the making until the Senate’s intervention.
The government says about $300 US million is required for what it insists is a revamping and not a concession exercise of the Port Harcourt refinery.
On its part, the infrastructure regulatory commission says whatever the NNPC is doing must be in line with the ICRC act and that there must be no transfer of assets belonging to the refinery through the back door.
The Committee is set to submit its report to the Senate on July 18.