Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja
Moves to privatize the nation’s refineries by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), have been exposed, and halted, by the House of Representatives.
The House, on Wednesday, ordered NNPC and the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), to immediately halted the privatization process already begun as it failed the test of due process.
The House Committee on Privatization took this position after it expressed dissatisfaction at the presentation of the Group Executive Director (GED) Refineries of the NNPC, Anibor Kragha.
Kragha had during a meeting with the committee informed it that NNPC was only seeking a joint venture in the management of the refineries, and not privatizing it.
“NNPC does not have the mandate to privatize. It is a misrepresentation, “he said.
Kragha, who said he was appointed in April 2016, stated that he was not aware of letters written to the NNPC by the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) on the said privatization of the refineries.
Acting Director General of the BPE, Vincent Akpotabie, also said the Bureau was not aware that the NNPC was making a move to privatize the refineries.
Akpotabie further explained that the immediate past administration had begun preparing a framework for the privatization of refineries.
After hearing both submissions, the committee said the NNPC violated Section 11 of the BPE Act adding that the claimed joint venture agreement the NNPC is claiming to seek has overtime failed the country.
Chairman of the Committee, Ahmed Yerima, while speaking on the issue said, “you have not given us clear cut answers and you are saying you are recently appointed. In fact, you don’t have a presentation which is against the rule.
“I suggest we call off the meeting and you stop all procedures of privatization and we are going to report this to the House. It is a total violation of the BPE Act”, he added.
The Committee further summoned the Minister, Ibe Kaichikwu to answer questions on the said privatization of the refineries adding that the Kragha was not competent enough to field questions from the committee on the issue.