OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives adhoc committee on the investigation of “the nation’s four refineries, their turn-around maintenance and regular/modular licensed refineries,” has accused stakeholders of withholding vital information that can help the committee carry out its investigation properly.

The Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Mohammed Garba Datti (APC, Kaduna), announced this during a two-day public hearing organised by the committee to unravel the status of the four defunct refineries.

The refineries in question have the capacity of producing 445, 000 barrels of crude oil per day in Warri, Kaduna and Port Harcourt.

According to him, “it is clear to us in this committee that some individuals are bent on frustrating the outcome of this investigation by way of withholding information and, in some cases, providing scanty and misleading information and data after forwarding to them a prepared template to respond to the committee accordingly.”

Despite this setback, the Chairman reassured that they (the committee) would not be deterred in carrying out their responsibilities.

A representative from the Alesa-Eleme host community in Rivers State, Mr Eyi Ngulugbe accused the government of abandoning the community after taking over 500,000 acres of their land for the first and fourth refineries in 1962 and 1984, respectively.

Additionally, Mr. Ngulugbe explained that the resultant health impacts suffered by his people, due to poor environmental conditions caused by activities relating to the refinery, couldn’t be compensated for with the stipend they receive from government.

The representative of the host community ended his presentation by stating, “the land acquired by the refineries has greatly reduced the land available and increased the frequency of farming on any land with the attendant reduction in yield.”

It is worthy to note that the representatives from the Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who appeared before the committee, were ask to leave because they didn’t have any useful presentation to make before the committee.

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