By NBF News

Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Appropriation and Finance yesterday formally unveiled the names of beneficiaries of the fuel subsidy scheme operated by government agencies. The list comprises both major oil marketers and independent depot owners, with 77 beneficiaries.

Major oil marketers include: AP; Oando; Total; MRS and ConOil, while the independent beneficiaries are Bovas, Eterna, Eurafric Oil & Coastal Services, Integrated Oil, Matrix, Northwest Petroleum Pinnacle, RAHAMANIYYA, Sea Petroleum, Maizube Pet, Triquest, Ecogree, Ontario, Dupot, IMAD oil, Nadabo, Brila, SIFAX, Taurus, Yanaty Petro Chemical, AITEO, AMG, Ascon, Dee Jones, Honeywell, Swift, Acorn, Avant Garde, Majope Inv, Spog Petrochemical, Knighsridge, Lloys Energy, Masters Energy, Dupot Marina, Lumen Skies, Nasaman, Somerset, Sirius Energy, Tonique, Ventro Energy, Channex Oil, Valzira, Zenro, Donny Oil and Gas, Naticel, AA Rand, Lingo Oil, Ocean Energy Trading, Ryden, Chiteld Pet, Avidor, Setana Energy, Shorelink Oil, Fradro Int, Linetrale Oil Supply and Trading, Sahara, Valcore, ASB Inv, Lubcon, Ceoti, First Deepwater and Agacan.

Committee Chairman, Magnus Abe, read out a list of the oil subsidy beneficiaries, as at August 2001. Some of them are: Oando Nigeria Plc (N228.506 billion); Integrated Oil and Gas Plc (N30 billion); MRS (N224.818 billion), Con Oil (N37.96 billion), Enak Oil & Gas (N19.684 billion), Bovas & Co. Nig Ltd (N5.685 billion), Obat (N85 billion) and AP (N104.5 billion).

Others are: Folawiyo Oil (N113.3 billion), IPMAN Investment Limited (N10.9 billion), ACON (N24.1 billion), Atio Oil (N64.4billion), AMP (N11.4 billion), Honey Well (N12.2 billion), Emac Oil (N19.2 billion), D.Jones Oil (N14.8 billion) and Capital Oil (N22.4 billion), AZ Oil (N18.613billion).

Abe, however, differed from the amount of N1.346trillion earlier presented by the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mr. Reginald Elijah Stanley. He placed the figure at N1.426trillion.

Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Austin Oniwon, incurred the wrath of the Senator Magnus Abe-led committee when he could not tell them the units of crude oil refined per day in the nation's refineries.

He had earlier told the committee that all the refineries combined couldn't operate below 60 percent capacity, while the Port Harcourt refinery has not been operational for more than a month now.

'By the design of the refineries, they can't run below 60 percent when you charge it. That's why we say it's 60 percent. Unfortunately, for over a month now, the Port Harcourt refinery has been shut down. But when it runs, technically, it can't run below 60 percent,' he said.

Committee member, Senator Bukola Saraki, whose motion triggered the Senate probe asked Oniwon to tell senators 'the average capacity utilization of the refineries.'

Oniwon replied:' I'll get back to you on that.'
This did not go down well with Saraki who pressed on with more questions. He asked again: 'What amount of PMS would the refineries give us for the months of October, November and December?'

Again, Oniwon replied: ' At 60 percent, we'll produce 13 million litres.'

An angry Senator Saraki repeated his question and demanded details and documents on the amount of crude refined for those months to which Oniwon replied: 'I didn't come with the figures but I can submit them later.'