The caucu, therefore, demanded an immediate review of the cost. A statement issued on Tuesday by the Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, said the caucus reached the conclusion after a thorough evaluation of the proposal. The statement was titled ‘Reps Minority Caucus Demands Review of $1.5bn for Port Harcourt Refinery Rehabilitation.’
The caucus noted that while it was in support of any genuine effort to bridge energy deficit in Nigeria, such should not be used as a ploy by corrupt individuals to fleece the nation.
The lawmakers said, “This over bloated $1.5bn cost has again brought to the fore the prevailing unpatriotic proclivity of treasury looting and criminal diversion of public funds through inflated contracts by officials of government for their selfish interests.
“It is completely unexplainable that the sum of $1.5bn, belonging to Nigerians, is to be funneled towards the rehabilitation of a non-profitable refinery, which has already been slated to be handed over to private hands.
“In that regard, our caucus demands an immediate review of the project on a transparent and competitive cost template, while the billions of naira that would be recovered from the surplus, should be directed towards other areas of our national energy need.
“Furthermore, the minority caucus calls for immediate decisive steps towards providing required incentives to private organisations who have shown manifest interest in establishing refineries in our country, as a sure step to meet our national energy need.”
The lawmakers urged the Federal Executive Council not to release any funds related to the inflated rehabilitation costs until after the review.
The House would also be probing into the rehabilitation and maintenance exercises on other refineries in the country, which had reportedly gulped billions of dollars.