Group queries Finance Minister, Okonjo-Iweala over $23billion refineries contract

Conference of Nigerian Political Parties , CNPP, has forwarded a letter to the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, requesting for full disclosure of transactions concerning the contract for three Greenfield refineries and petrochemical plant awarded by President Goodluck Jonathan for $23 billion.

Spokesman of the group, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, who disclosed this in Enugu yesterday, said the group derived its powers to demand for the explanation from the Freedom of Information, FoI, Act.

The letter containing the request, dated March 9, 2015, and titled, ‘Request for Information on three Greenfield refineries’, read: “May I under the Freedom of Information Act 2011, request for the full disclosure of transactions concerning the three Greenfield refineries and petrochemical plant contract awarded on May 13, 2010, by President Goodluck Jonathan to Chinese State Construction and Engineering Corporation Limited, CSCEC,, at $23 billion meant to be located at Bayelsa, Kogi and Lagos states.
“Secondly, why are they dead on arrival as six years down the line, neither the three Greenfield refineries nor petrochemical plant is under construction. “The three Greenfield refineries one understands, on completion were to add 750,000 barrels per day capacity to Nigeria’s refining infrastructure and create over a million jobs. “In addition, the petrochemical plant was to source natural gas from Nigeria’s gas master plan, produce polymers, solvents and fertilizer, thus boosting food production and textile industry.

“Accordingly, the three refineries and the petrochemical plant could have stemmed the flood of imported refined products in the country, hence ploughing back the over $10 billion spent annually into our economy.” Okechukwu expressed regret that the abandonment of such critical refining infrastructure stimulated closure of factories, crash of the naira, gross unemployment, return of huge debt trap and fuel scarcity, to mention but a few.
Credit: Austin Ogwuda/Vanguard