By Abubakar Yunusa
The Senate has threatened to recommend the sack and jailing of the Group Managing Director (GMD)of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari and other top executive officers of government agencies in the oil sector.
The Senate specifically threatened to sack the executive officers whose agencies were involved in the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) projects of Nigerian refineries.
The Senate noted that from 2010 to date, over N12 trillion has been spent on TAM. The Senate also said that it has records of over $592 million, €4.8 million and £3.4 million spent between 2010 to date on TAM, yet none of the refineries is working.
The threat was made by the Senate Ad-hoc Committee investigating the various Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) projects of Nigerian Refineries, during an interactive session with NNPCL management and other executives of the oil sector.
Some of the agencies invited whose chief executive officers failed to turn up, but sent representatives, which the committee threatened with sack and jail include; Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and their subsidiaries.
The Chairman of the Ad-hoc committee, Senator Isa Jibrin (Kogi East), noted that so much has been heard on the turn around, and so much has been spent on operational materials on the refineries that are not working.
He said that they want to know the solutions to all the leakages, as there are a lot of them.
The lawmaker said “we will ask for refund and dismissal of all the chief executives involved in the Turn Around Maintenance.”
Senator Jibrin said that for weeks, they have been asking for documents, which have not been given by the oil companies, a development that created suspicion.
“We sent them an invitation more than two weeks ago requesting for documents and the documents have not been released after two weeks. So, we want the chief executives to be present.
“More worrisome is that between 2010 and 2020, the sum of N4.8 trillion was said to have been spent as operational expenses. How do you incur operational expenses that have to do with purchase of raw materials and similar expenses on factories that are moribund? How do we come about operational expenses? We need to know.
“These are issues that Nigerians want to know; they want solutions to all these leakages. We know they are leakages. Whether you accept it they are leakages and they are all forms of compromise within your various establishments.
“We know and we will not hesitate to escalate it to the highest possible level, including possibility of refund and outright dismissal of some of the heads of some of these agencies and possibly go to jail,” he said.
Also speaking, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi said that NNPCL and management of other agencies, who came to represent their bosses, should be sent back to tell their Chief Executives that they are looking for them and not to send other people.
Angry by the whole development, Senator Sumaila Kawu said that they know the modus operandi of the civil service, adding, “we are not in the Senate for personal functions. We are representing the entire legislators. You in the civil service, we know how you are operating.
“We are in a very serious business. At the end, you will be at the receiving end. Nigerians are not satisfied with what you are doing and you will be at the receiving end.
“We are independent. We can go to any length to defend our people. It is the constitution that entrusted you. So, we must agree on how to operate.
“We will suspend this interaction until you are ready. We have 100 ways which we can achieve our legislative work. We just wanted to give you fair hearing and you must respect the constitution.”
On his part, Senator Danjuma Goje, who asked the representatives whether they are the heads of the agencies, added that they deal with heads or Chief Executives and not people who have been sent.
“We will have to agree on a new date for the submission of the documents both hard copies and soft copies and a date for a meeting where the Chief Executive must appear,” he said.
They were, however, given till Tuesday to submit the documents before the meeting with the Chief Executive.