A leading non-government organization (NGO) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate how the contracts for the turn-around maintenance (TAM) of the Old Port Harcourt Refinery with an installed capacity of 60,000barrels per day and the New Port Harcourt Refinery and Petrochemicals Company with a refining capacity of 150,000 barrels per day were awarded secretly by the Goodluck Jonathan administration to Chrome Oil Services.
In a press statement in Abuja today, the acting President of the Nigeria Renewal Movement (NRM), Dr Dagogo Brown, said that the contracts were given out without competitive bidding.
“In fact, the contacts worth several millions of dollars were awarded without being advertised in any national media”, Dr Brown stated. “Not even in the Federal Tenders Bulletin were interested contractors invited to bid.
Calling the contracts awards a clear violation of due process and laden with fraud, the NGO said that Nigerians were not aware of the existence of the contracts until Emeka Offor, chairman of Chrome and a controversial government contractor, spoke to journalist at the weekend in response to the criticism by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in an interview last week with Premium Times that he was awarded the contract to do the TAM at the 125,000 barrels per day Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company in 1994 which, according to the ex Nigerian leader, he messed up.
Since then, noted the erstwhile president, Offor became close friends with every government which awarded him huge contracts, enabling him to move into more technical areas as electricity.
Ex President Jonathan and his top officials in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), contended Dr Brown, “certainly knew that they were swindling Nigerian tax payers of a fortune, hence the secrecy which surrounded the whole deal.”
He added: “No one knows when the contracts were awarded, the contract sums, the timelines and conditions. Indeed, Nigerians were never told by the Jonathan government that there was any kind of move to fix the refineries.”
The government rather kept on telling Nigerians that the refineries had become practically useless on account of old age and lack of maintenance over the years, a statement meant to justify the continued importation of petroleum products by a cabal milking the country dry
The NGO argued that it is self evident that both the contracts to Chrome were not meant to be executed as the real intention was to use fixing the refineries as a platform to take out a colossal amount from the national treasury to finance the Jonathan reelection campaign and other special interests.
“It was the popular election of a well known anticorruption leader, President Buhari, on March 28 which forced the contractor to mobilize to site and work for 24 hours every day of the week, including weekends”, he contended.
The Nigeria Renewal Movement said that refinery turn-around maintenance typically takes fewer than 90 days, claiming that their investigation revealed that the repairs of the two refineries started in April shortly after Buhari’s election victory.
Querying the quality of work which Chrome Oil Services could render, the group asked Buhari to find out from Jonathan and his officials why such critical jobs were given to Offor when a government probe into the so-called TAM at the Warri refinery in 1995 had recommended his blacklisting from all NNPC contracts.
Dr brown recalled that the government accepted the recommendations of the probe, headed by the Aret Adams, a former NNPC Group Managing Director, that Offor be banned from all NNPC jobs and the dismissal of the managing director of the refinery, Dr Owokalu.
He remarked that the “hurried, frenetic execution of the TAM contracts for both the old and new Port Harcourt refineries since the election of President Buhari shows that it has dawned on all and sundry that Nigeria is now moving in a new direction. It is no longer business as usual for contractors and their collaborators in different ministries, departments and agencies.
“Still, Buhari owes the nation and indeed the international community which repose great confidence in his personal integrity and leadership abilities the duty to get to the root of how such colossal amounts of contracts were awarded secretly to a firm promoted by someone with an awful record in this field”.
N15 bln is require yearly to achieve 8,000 megawatts by 2016- TCN
Dr Atiku Abubakar, the Deputy Managing
Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) on Tuesday said that about
N15 billion is required yearly to hit 8,000 megawatts by 2016.
Abubakar disclosed this during a facility inspection to some of the ongoing
projects and a training exercise of some auditors in Lagos.
Daily Champion gathered that Abubakar who is also the managing director,
Transmission Service Provider (TSP) TCN said that a minimum of about N15
billion per annum is required to achieve 8, 000 megawatts by 2016 within a
period of two to three years.
The TCN boss said that the country power generation had improved because
gas had also improved tremendously to generating stations.
According to him, we have been able to generate the highest peak so ever in
July which is about 4,652 megawatts and our transmission capacity is a
little bite above that, we are capable of transmitting about 5,300
megawatts at the moment.
“But as generation is improving we are expected to expand transmission
capacity to be able to evacuate all that is been generated in the stations
to distribution to use.
“ l can assured that we have our plans, projects that are very critical
which has been mapped out so that within the shortest possible time will be
able to hits 8,000 megawatts transmission capacity by end of 2016,’’ he
Abubakar said that interested investors who were willing to invest in the
country transmission had been short listed, adding that over 30 investors
that can deliver on project had been chosen.
According to him, l can tell you the name for now, but we are trying to see
that they are capable both technically and financially, because it is
expected that they will fund the project by them with the funding they
realised externally or within.
“Presently, we are in the process of coming up with the frame work which
they can recover their investment with time.
“Since Federal Government will not be given them sovereign guarantee, we
are coming up with modalities of repayment from our wiling charges and
internally generated revenue for over a period of time.
“Which such will come from the tariff the money the distribution companies
collected from customers that is been wheeled to the system to pay for
generation that have been given to distribution companies,’’ Abubakar added.
He said that TCN has never transmitted more than 5,000 megawatts to
customers, there are so many factor, adding that energy is generated they
have to transmits and utilised before distributing.
He said that the company was able to transmit what the distribution
companies can take from what the TCN wheeled as a maximum energy demand at
a given time.
Abubakar said that over 130 ongoing projects from 2002 had been stalled due
to lack of funding, adding that about 30 of them had been identify as been
critical that needed attention.
He said that currently, the company is trying to revive some of the
projects to achieve the country’s dream on effective and uninterrupted
power supply in the years to come.
The TCN helmsman said that the company had secured the released of some of
the abandoned containers with Customs Service which had been taken to some
of the bounded warehouses before it was disbursed to respective projects
site in Lagos.
He said that funding had been a major challenges to the company, adding
that lots of project were in the pipelines which needed to be funded and
with the present situation there is need for additional funding.
“We are making all effort to ensure that fund is raise outside the
appropriation of government; we have investors who are ready to come into
the country to invest in our schemes.
“Its still at early stage but as soon as we concluded, we would have
investor who are willing to invest their fund to develop the transmission
“We also expects more funding from government to be able to achieve the
mandate set for ourselves on improving on the transmission capacity.