From Fred Itua, Abuja 

The Senate, yesterday, indicted the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu and the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), on claims that they were not transparent in the process seemingly being adopted to engage ENI/NAOC and Oando as financiers for rehabilitation and improved performance of Port Harcourt Refinery.

In a report presented by the Chairman of the adhoc committee on Planned Concession of the Port Harcourt Refinery to AGIP/ENI and Oando Plc, Abubakar Kyari, and adopted by the Senate, lawmakers stressed that the process to rehabilitate refineries must be open, competitive and transparent, with the participation of all relevant stakeholders.

It said if the process is not transparent, it would be construed as backdoor transfer of the asset to a preferred investor.

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It also resolved that the discussions with ENI/NAOC with respect to revamping of Port Harcourt Refinery must be discontinued forthwith and an open, competitive and transparent process put in place to ensure that the nation derives the full benefits of involving private sector investors.

Part of the report read by the committee chairman, and adopted by the Senate, states: “A competent independent technical consultant should be engaged to review the diagnostic report (under preparation) on 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.

“Public invitation for bids under clearly spelt out terms and conditions should be re-advertised. The Ministry of Petroleum Resources, NNPC, Bureau of Public Enterprises and others should collaborate for national interest in accordance with extant laws.”

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