By Ushang Ewa
The House of Representatives on Tuesday during plenary, adopted a motion by first term lawmaker, Alex Egbona calling on the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to review the status of each of the 38 modular refinery licences issued to Nigerian firms, with a view to revoke and re-issue them to competent and reliable operators.
“The essence of issuing the licences have been defeated as the beneficiaries have not been able to put them to proper use which is to refine petroleum products for local consumption and export,” the House ruled after listening to Egbona who represents the Yakurr/Abi federal constituency in central Cross River State.
Egbona had while moving his motion, disclosed that the Federal Government, via the NNPC, issued 38 licenses to Nigerian firms to set up modular refineries in the country in 2018 in preparation for full deregulation of the downstream sector as a panacea for oil theft and piracy as well as closeing the gap on petroleum products importation.
But, according to Egbona, only two are currently under construction, a situation that led to continuous importation of petroleum products and with the final withdrawal of subsidy, made Nigerians pay more for products with the attendant economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic making the situation worse.
And, the House added that the NNPC is, “to review the status of each of the licenses, revoke and re-issue them to competent and reliable operators,” and urged the corporation to give technical assistance to those who have since begun construction work while the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream) will aid in ensuring implementation.
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