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Deep-rooted corruption in running refineries’ll smoke any fund for TAM—MOMAN

Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), a body consisting of leading players in the oil and gas sector, has revealed that the billions of dollars being regularly pumped into the rehabilitation and turnaround maintenance (TAM) of all four refineries by the government are just being wasted.

They averred that no amount of fund injection will work, considering the deep-rooted corruption in the refinery management system in the country.

It would be recalled that the House of Representatives last week invited the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to come forward with cogent explanations on why it is asking for additional $1.8bn for another round of TAM for the ailing refineries.

Whereas analysts are convinced that NNPC may find it hard to give clear defence for the whooping sum, MOMAN has made it clear that the best option for the refineries to work to capacity remains privatization.

Giving details on why another Tam may become drainpipe in an interview, the Executive Secretary of MOMAN, Obafemi Olawore, said “As presently owned, the refineries cannot work until they are privatised. Monies will be pumped into rehabilitation and maintenance, but they won’t take us anywhere. It’s not the first time that monies were budgeted for the refineries. Why should we continue to waste such monies?”

On his candid opinion on what actually is happening to Nigerian refineries, he said “I think that question can best be answered by the NNPC, but my guess is that the refineries are not doing much. Each time one tells the truth, the truth is sometimes bitter”.

On why private investors were not building refineries, Olawore explained that no investor would invest in a business when he was unsure of recouping his investment.

According to him, “You don’t build refineries when you are not too sure of recovering your cost. I’m very optimistic that Dangote has done his homework very well and he is very sure that one thing will happen.

“And that is, by the time he (Dangote) finishes the refinery and it is opened, there will be privatisation, or he will be allowed to treat his refinery as being in an export free zone and he will be operating as if he is outside the country.”

Giving details on why MOMAN members are going down in business, Olawore noted that the indebtedness of marketers to banks which was due to the failure of the government to clear the $2bn debt which it owes the dealers, has crippled their businesses.