Reps Probe NNPCL’s Activities In Kolmani Oil Field In Gombe, Bauchi States

0 678

The House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to investigate the status of the oil exploration activities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) in the Kolmani Oil Field covering Gombe and Bauchi States which allegedly attracted $3 billion foreign investment.

The decision on Kolmani Oil Field came as another lawmaker, Hon. Billy Famous Osawaru moved a motion for the investigation of the NNPCL, alleging misappropriation of funds, and spending without the required approval of the National Assembly, which he said contravenes the Petroleum Industry Act.

The oil exploration in the Kolmani Oil Field is undertaken by the Kolmani Integrated Development Project inaugurated by the NNPCL in 2016.

As of date however, the House of Representatives noted a lack of progress report on a project that was initiated eight years ago and which has attracted $3 billion foreign investment covering a petro-chemical refining site, an oil refinery of 120,000 bpd, a gas processing site of about 500 million cubic feet per day, a fertiliser plant and a 300MW power plant.

The probe will be undertaken by the House’s Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream, Upstream and Midstream), jointly with the Committee on Gas Resources, and they are to report back to the committee of the whole in four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

The project, which is allegedly in comatose, was initiated eight years ago and is expected to expand oil and gas exploration to Anambra, Benue and Bida Basins, produce an additional volume of crude oil, generate foreign exchange, create employment and bring development to the communities under its coverage.

The lawmakers’ decision followed the motion by Hon. Inuwa Garba who expressed concern about the lack of a progress report on the project that has gulped huge investment and generated excitement.

The legislator who sought legislative intervention in the project that has dragged on for over eight years without a progress report noted that the oil exploration in Kolmani Oil Field between Gombe and Bauchi States commenced in 2016, leading to the inauguration of the Kolmani Integrated Development Project by former President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2022. The oil exploration activities were sequel to the discovery of about one billion barrels of crude oil and 500 billion cubic feet of gas in the licensed area categorised as Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 810 and 809.

On the project, the lawmakers also noted that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) attracted over $3 billion investment for a Petro-chemical refining site, oil refinery of 120,000 bpd, a gas processing site of about 500 million cubic feet per day, a fertiliser plant and a 300MW power plant.

The project which the lawmakers said would have repositioned Nigeria in the global oil and gas sector, is generating concerns about how production activities declined under unexplained circumstances after its inauguration, thus creating apprehension and disappointment in the polity, especially in the face of current oil and gas market realities.

The lawmakers are disturbed that the lack of a periodic progress report on such a lucrative project has led to speculation and despair due to the expectations of wealth creation, employment, and significant development.

Hon. Osawaru, while leading the debate, stated that the NNPCL flouted the laws governing the frontier exploration funds that it is to use for operations by not seeking and obtaining the due appropriation and approval from the National Assembly. The lawmaker said it was a grave financial misconduct, breach of law and abuse of powers, and asked that the matter be investigated and everyone involved be brought to justice.