Officials of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Managing Director of the Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company Thursday stayed away from a meeting called by the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) for a probe of their agency’s activities.
While NNPC officials were expected to tell the committee how they have been running the affairs of the corporation including how they have been implementing the 2013 appropriation, Managing Director of Warri Refinery on the other hand, Peter Oguigbe, was summoned to explain how the company was burnt down on October 22.
NNPC was also expected to provide documents on petroleum products and crude swap.
It was also summoned to brief the committee on how many aircraft it has in its possession; how many are being hired and what is the cost of maintaining such aircraft.
But while the committee awaited the arrival of the team to be led by Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, it received a letter from the corporation asking for more time to enable it put together the documents and other information the group is expected to present.
But Oguigbe on his part, wrote the committee that he would not be available for the meeting because his daughter would be getting married on November 1 and 2.
The letter read: “I would like to request your kind consideration to give us another date to enable me attend and participate in my daughter’s wedding taking place on Nov 1-2 at Agbor and Asaba respectively.
“We sincerely regret any inconvenience this may cause your esteemed committee and I kindly request that you re-schedule for another day.”
Responding to the NNPC’s letter, Abe who said he agreed with the corporation that it required more time for the presentation of items required from it, advised government agencies to always co-operate with lawmakers in the discharge of their duties.
Said Abe: “I agree with NNPC that they need time to collate these documents and then bring them forward. There are also issues to do with the implementation of the NNPC budget. We’ve also written to them to furnish us with all the details of the budget implementation as the year progresses.
“We accept their reasons for not being here but I would like to seize this opportunity to ask them and very seriously call on NNPC and indeed, call on all government agencies, that co-operating with the legislature is important for the stability of our democracy.
“We need the co-operation of all agencies that are to work with us in order to safeguard the interest of all Nigerians. So, I will plead with NNPC, to, very quickly, within the next one week, assemble all the documents that we have asked for, particularly documents relating to the distribution of petroleum products in this country and the crude-swap arrangement.
“This is an area that is of great importance to the Nigerian public because we need to know exactly how this arrangement is being carried out, who are people involved and the benefits to the Nigerian people. These are some of the information we are asking for. So, we will give them time to collate their documents and also within two weeks, they should collate their documents within and outside Nigeria.
“That time is enough for them to collate their documents and after two weeks, we fix a new date for this meeting and then, we hope that they would not only come for this meeting, but they would come prepared, along with so e other information on the NNPC budget.
“Particularly, we would like to know how many aircraft the corporation has and how many are on hire; how many belong to them and how much is being spent on the hiring of the aircraft. We would like to have these details.”
Information from This Day was used in this report.