Probe $3.7 billion repair cost of ‘dead’ refineries – Timi Frank to EFCC, ICPC

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Worried by the non-functioning of oil refineries in Nigeria after 7 years of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, the erstwhile Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, has called on the nation’s anti-graft agencies to urgently probe alleged award of $3.7billion contract to rehabilitate dead refineries.

In a statement which he sent to DAILY POST on Monday, Timi Frank condemned the award of a contract of $3.7 billion for repairs of refineries without fruitful result.

He also expressed concern over revelations by the ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives investigating the award of contract for the nation’s refineries, urging the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate the transactions

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Describing the contract as an “unimaginable heist and brutal looting”, Timi insisted that corruption in the Buhari-led administration has eroded people’s ability to eat three square meals a day.

He also condemned the refusal of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari and other officials from appearing before a statutory committee of the National Assembly to explain why and how such a colossal amount was earmarked to service moribund.

He lamented at what he called “nauseating deals”, he asked the two anti-graft agencies not to seat supine, allowing the nation’s resources to down drain.

The probe, he said, would unravel whether the fund has been mismanaged, or outrightly stolen noting that what is happening in the corruption corridor was a testament that President Buhari has forgotten the 2018 African Union’s Anti-corruption Award conferred on him.

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“Since 2015 till date, Buhari has been the substantive Minister of Petroleum and he cannot claim ignorance of the award of this bizarre contract.

“It is benumbing that despite revelation by Mr Tony Elumelu that 95 per cent of oil production in Nigeria is being stolen, Buhari who is in charge as Minister of Petroleum has not deemed it necessary to go after the thieves or order anti-corruption agencies to go after the evil cartel stealing the nation’s crude oil.

“When will Buhari truly fight corruption in Nigeria? Will it be after he leaves office in May 2023?” he said.

He said: “Today, Dangote is building a 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) oil refinery in Lekki at an estimated cost of $19billion. However, as at September 2013, it was estimated to cost about $9billion.

“Similarly, as of October 2013, Uganda announced that it plans to build a 60,000 barrels per day oil refinery at an estimated cost of $2.5billion.

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“This means that between May 2015 and April 2022 that APC has been on the driving seat of governance, money spent to ‘repair’ the nation’s antiquated refineries, most especially the recent rehabilitation contract of $3.7billion and the N4trillion earmarked for fuel subsidy in the 2022 budget, would have been enough to build at least a new 100,000 barrels per day refinery in the country.

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