Senate on Thursday expressed reservation on the processes adopted in the planned concessioning of the Port Harcourt Refinery by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
This followed adoption of the report of Senate Ad hoc Committee mandated to investigate the matter.
The Upper Chamber also accused the duo of violating due process in engaging the AGIP, ENI, and Oando for the rehabilitation of the refinery.
It resolved that further discussions with the stakeholders on the rehabilitation of the refinery be discontinued and directed that an open, competitive and transparent process be evolved by the authorities concerned.
The senate said that public invitation for bids under clearly spelt out terms and conditions be re-advertised.
Presenting the report, the Chairman, Sen. Abubakar Kyari (Borno-APC) said the committee was mandated to investigate the planned concession of Port Harcourt Refinery to AGIP/ENI and Oando by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
He said findings from investigation carried out revealed that the process of engaging the stakeholders by NNPC and the ministry as financiers to rehabilitate and improve performance of the refinery were seemingly not transparent enough.
He said the committee made some recommendations from its findings.
“The process to rehabilitate refineries must be open, competitive and transparent.
“This should be with the participation of all relevant stakeholders otherwise it would be construed as backdoor transfer of the asset to a preferred investor.
“The 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.
“This is taking into consideration re-appraised rehabilitation cost estimates, environmental concerns of host communities and labour issues.
“The Ministry of Petroleum Resources, NNPC, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) should collaborate for national interest in accordance with extant laws.
“ The issue of the oil and gas sector needs to be addressed in a transparent manner to increase revenue generation, create employment and infrastructural development,” Kyari said. (NAN)