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Kachikwu Petroleum minister absent at House of Reps. over sale of refineries hearing

Chairman of the committee, Rep. Ahmed Yerima (Bauchi-APC), expressed displeasure over the minister's inability to inform the committee about the trip.

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Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu play Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu (REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader)

The absence of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu on Thursday stalled a scheduled public hearing of the House Committee on Privatisation and Commercialization at the National Assembly.

The hearing was adjourned after the committee was informed of the Minister's inability to attend due to his foreign trip to attend a summit of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The minister was expected to explain why Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) rather than Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) opened bid for the sale of the nation's three refineries in Warri, Kaduna and Port Harcourt.

Chairman of the committee, Rep. Ahmed Yerima (Bauchi-APC), expressed displeasure over the minister's inability to inform the committee about the trip.

``The impression people, including the minister, have is that the committee is opposed to privatisation; that is not true.

"This investigation is to ensure that the NNPC follows due process in the privatization of these refineries," he said.

Yerima warned that the committee may invoke relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution to deal with the minister if he failed to appear before it within one week.

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