A former Senator, Dino Melaye has accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of spending an outrageous N1. 6 trillion on the nation’s refineries without positive results.
He further disclosed that a whopping N10 billion was expended every month to maintain a non-functional refinery in Nigeria.
He urged the President to set up a thorough probe into the petroleum ministry, while adding that it was absurd that the refineries that have not been productive, gulped such a huge amount of money.
The ex-lawmaker made these revelations on Wednesday in a video recording that he posted on his Twitter page while reacting to the plan of the Nigerian government to spend $1.5 billion on the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery.
The Federal Executive Council last Wednesday approved $1.5 billion (about N600 billion) for the renovation of the Port Harcourt refinery.
President Buhari at the FEC virtual meeting approved the amount but many Nigerians, including former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar have condemned the outrageous amount of money earmarked for the refurbishment.
Atiku said, “At this critical period, we must as a nation be prudent with the use of whatever revenue we are able to generate, and even if we must borrow, we must do so with the utmost responsibility and discipline.
“To therefore budget the sum of $1.5 billion to renovate or turn around the Port Harcourt Refinery would appear to be an unwise use of scarce funds at this critical juncture for a multiplicity of reasons.”
In his reaction, Melaye said, “I want to call on you, Mr. President to carry out forensic investigation on the petroleum sector and specifically, this outrageous, irresponsible, calamitous renovation which is about to take place.
“Mr. President, you may not be aware but in the last five years, we have spent N1.6 trillion on the turnaround maintenance of these refineries. N1.6 trillion has been spent on this turnaround maintenance of these dead refineries in the last five years.
“I also want to put it to you Mr. President that in the last three years, none of our refineries has produced even one barrel or one litre of refined oil. Not one litre of the refined product as the case may be. In three years they have been moribund, they are not working, and they are not functional. They have not produced any, not even one drop of refined product.
“And I want also to put it to you that over the years, we have been spending over N10 billion every month in the maintenance of a dead refinery that is not producing. Mr. President, with all these statistics, it is laughable and outrageously unreasonable for anyone wanting to invest $1.5 billion (over N7 billion) on a Port Harcourt refinery.
“Mr. President, as I speak to you, that refinery was up for sale a few years ago for $500 million something. If it was up for sale for $500 million, why on earth will anybody wants to renovate with $1.5 billion? Mr. President, enough is enough! We are waiting on you to act on this. Failure to act on this, Nigerians will act. We have no other country to call our own. We are ready to carry out a peaceful action to press you and those in power and to be responsible for governance. Nigerians are now forced.”