From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives has resolved to probe alleged diversion of crude oil meant for Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company in Delta State.
Consequently, the House mandated its Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) to undertake the investigation and report back to it in four weeks for further legislative actions.
The committee is also expected to investigate why the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has allegedly failed to address the haulage challenges, especially adequate storage facilities at the refinery.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Ben Igbakpa on “Urgent need for the re-opening and commencement of operations of the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company by addressing the haulage challenges and lack of functional or operational storage tanks affecting the refinery”.
Igbakpa, in his motion, said Warri Refinery has been down due to alleged poor management.
“The plant had severally shut down due to haulage challenges sequel to PPMC’s continued neglect in the evacuation of products. Also, the lack of functional or operational storage tanks and poor maintenance culture on the part of management also constitutes another reason the plant is not working.
“Whenever crude oil is delivered from Escravous tank farm for the purpose of refining, the products are hoarded for a period of about 14 days and thereafter diverted through the refinery jetty to interested buyers (or specific companies they have special interests on) who pay less. The resultant effects of this perceived economic sabotage is that many a times, the plant is brought down because of no crude to refine as the crude has been diverted for selfish gain.”
The lawmaker, while calling for the intervention of the House, noted that the constant hike in pump price of fuel is attributable to the shutdown of local refineries.