It also noted that some of its joint venture engagements with foreign companies were questionable and must be investigated.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Ahmed Yerima, stated at a session with the NNPC officials and the Bureau of Public Enterprises that the country’s laws were infringed upon in several ways by the actions of the oil corporation.
The committee took the position soon after the BPE informed it that some past joint venture investments failed.
Commenting specifically on the refineries, the Acting Director-General of the BPE, Mr. Vincent Akpotarie, told the committee that though they were privatised in the past, the policy was reversed in 2007.
He added that fresh attempts to privatise them again had not worked.
The committee then resolved that “there is a clear violation of the law in seeking investments based on what the BPE DG said.”
But, on his part, the Group Executive Director, Refineries, NNPC, Mr. Anibor Kragba, claimed that the corporation had no powers to sell any of the refineries.
The committee later rescheduled the hearing and resolved to hear the position of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, on the matter before taking a final decision.
The development came as the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative submitted its 2013 annual report to the House.
The Executive Secretary, NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio, made the presentation to the Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr. Yussuff Lasun, at the National Assembly.
Adio said the report covered findings in the oil and gas as well as the solid minerals sectors.
A major highlight of the report was that the NNPC reportedly did not remit over N1.1tn to the Federation Account in 2013.
Adio stated that though the agency had been releasing reports on its operations since 2007, but that this was the first time it made a formal submission to the legislature.
Adio called for an urgent consideration of the report by the House for implementation and to make more laws that would strengthen the work of the agency.
However, Lasun threw the challenge back at NEITI, saying that the agency was in the best position to draft the bills that would assist its operations.
He said, “There is a problem of understanding when people believe that the National Assembly must know all the issues in every sector.
“It doesn’t work that way. You don’t just ask us to make the laws. You know the industry; you know the challenges that you face. So, draft the bills and give to us.”
Lasun also held the view that the country was not in control of its oil and gas industry, though it had crude oil in abundance.
According to him, Nigeria only exports crude but does not have the requisite technologies or the expertise to take control of the sector and be on its own without relying on foreigners.
“Nigeria as a nation has lost the oil industry. In the politics of the oil industry, we are not even there”, Lasun added.