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The House of Representatives on Wednesday mandated its Committees on Petroleum Resources, Upstream, and Downstream, to investigate the lingering crisis in the supply petroleum products in the country.
This followed a motion moved by Rep. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama (PDP-Edo) which was unanimously adopted.
Ogbeide-Ihama said that Nigerians were experiencing difficulties because of persistent problems confronting the oil and gas sector.
“This is responsible for the dependence on imported products, hence the regular fuel crisis in the country which is causing untold hardship to Nigerians,” the lawmaker said.
According to him, the Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri refining and petrochemical companies were reported by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to have incurred debts amounting to about N120.07 billion in August and September.
“While their revenue in August was N146.617billion, their expenditure was N207.287 billion; in September, the revenue generated by the refineries was N112.514 billion and expenditure was pegged at N171.914 billion,” he said, lamenting that despite the debts incurred by the refineries, “the capacity utilisation of Warri and Kaduna refineries in September was said to be zero percent as both plants did not process crude in that month.
“The Port Harcourt Refining Company was reported to have produced at 4.15 per cent capacity which is a far cry from its installed capacity,” he said.
Also contributing, Rep. Nnamdi Agbo (PDP-Enugu) called on the Federal Government to deregulate the oil and gas sector, while Rep. Sergius Oseasochie (APC-Edo) advocated that the refineries should be handed over to competent and reliable companies to handle on behalf of the government.
Majority Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos), on his part, said it was unfortunate that nobody had explained why the refineries had failed to function.
He also cautioned against the removal of oil subsidy now, as it would affect living condition of Nigerians.
“Let us first develop the political will to fix the refineries, then, we can begin to talk about the removal of subsidy. “If you remove the subsidy now, it will skyrocket the cost of living for the common man,” he said.