NNPC used $ 2.05 bn from government not for maintenance refineries

Jul 14, 1997 02:00 AM

June 18, 1997 The Nigerian government allocated some $ 2.05 bn to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) between 1995 and 1996 for maintenance of the nation's four refineries, but the money was not used for that purpose, Finance Minister Anthony Ani said. The minister, delivering a keynote address at the eighth Gamji lecture in Kaduna, northern Nigeria, said such diversion of money was one of the reasons why the nation's refineries were not being properly maintained, leading to repeated fuel shortages. The latest shortage, lasting more than two months, has virtually paralysed socio-economic activities throughout the country.
The nation's four refineries are the 60,000 bpd and 150,000 bpd plants at Port Harcourt, in south-eastern Nigeria, the 110,000 bpd plant in Kaduna, and the 125,000 bpd plant in Warri, in the Southwest.
The minister said direct allocations for $ 440 mm and $ 295 mm had been made in 1995 and 1996 to the NNPC for its projects (including refinery repairs), plus an additionalallocation of $ 660 mm in each of the two years. Ani said: "We have not been able to see a positive impact from these expenditures on most Nigerians." He believed that with sound planning and a good oil and gas policy, Nigeria should see an end to the problem.
In an effort to correct the situation, Ani said the government had decided to create two committees. The first would be in charge of the evaluation of ministerial projects in relation to expenditure made during 1995 and 1996. The second would be responsible for project monitoring and evaluation, plus following up 1997 disbursements made to key parastatals.

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