Amobi Ogah queries non-inclusion of refineries in petroleum ministry budget.


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The member representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi federal constituency, Hon Amobi Ogah has queried the 2024 budget of Petroleum resources presented today which according to him had not taken the refineries into consideration.

The ministry of petroleum resources presented its N9.641 billion allocation in the 2024 proposed budget to the joint committees of senate and house of representatives on petroleum resources (upstream and downstream and gas resources).

The presentation was part of 2023 budget implementation and 2024 budget defence by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to relevant national assembly committees.

Other legislators raised several reservations about some inadequacies and shortcomings of the budget.

They were also critical of the meagre budget, which did not include refineries and failed to include other initiatives aimed at cushioning the effects of subsidy removal.

A member of the committee, Rep. Nnamdi Ezechi (PDP, Delta) described the budget as unpalatable, noting that it failed to cover the interest of host communities across the country.

“This budget is not palatable. Except there’s something else hidden under the budget, this is not a budget that shows concern about host communities,” he said.

Another member of the committee, Rep. Ojogo Kimikanboh (APC, Ondo) said, “the budget presented before us is watery and appears unworkable. The ministry appears lethargic. There’s an opportunity in the PIB act that allows the ministry to go into serious business in terms of investment and rake in money for the federation.”

The proposed budget for 2024 is N9.64 for the ministry with overhead cost pegged at N3.18b; recurrent at N4.2b; and capital pegged at N5.4b.

However, other lawmakers who reacted to the budget at the defence hearing, complained that the N9.6b budget presented is significantly low for the ministry given its responsibilities.

According to them, the 2024 budget proposal of the ministry of petroleum resources does not support the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu, and therefore needs to be increaesd.
In his response, Lokpobiri explained that the ministry’s 2024 budget was a significant improvement on the 2023 budget.

Lokpobiri said the ministry was policy-driven and did not execute projects that addressed specific concerns.

The minister said the host communities fund provided by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) is aimed at addressing the concerns of oil-producing communities.

He said the ministry has several agencies that are mandated to carry out diverse responsibilities, adding that the ministry creates policies that guide the operations of corporations in the oil and gas industry.

Lokpobiri assured the legislators that the issues they raised would be sent to the appropriate quarters and addressed.