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20 Rights Groups Invoke Freedom Of Information Act Over Concession Of Refineries

A coalition of 20 civil society and rights groups have written the Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission to make available to them all relevant information over the proposed concession of Port Harcourt Refinery pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

The groups stated that their decision was stemmed from moved by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Federal Government to concession the Port Harcourt Refinery to Nigerian Agip Oil Company/ENI.

The group said that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources had released information to several news outlets in the mainstream and online media of plans to concession the Refinery.

A statement from Festus Keyamo Chambers signed by Festus Ukpe, counsel and John Ainetor, Assistant Head of Chambers on behalf of the groups, stated:

“By the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (Establishment) Act and the National Policy on Public Private Partnership, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission is the regulatory agency responsible for all concession agreements and its approval must be first sought and obtained before such a concessionary agreement is concluded”.

“The purpose of this application is to respectfully enquire whether the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission has taken custody of the said concession agreement and whether the concession was carried out in line with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (Establishment) Act as well as the National Policy on Public Private Partnership”.

“We further urge you to kindly make available to us certified copies of all the documents regarding the concession of the Port Harcourt Refinery to Nigerian Agip Oil Company/ENI. We undertake to pay the necessary fees in this regard”.

Representatives of various non-governmental organisations who are invoking the Act are: Comrade Debo Adeniran of Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, Mallam Abdul Bako Usman of Campaign for Democracy, Ms Vera Okei of Centre for Change, Olufemi Lawson of Nigerians Unite Against Corruption, Rasaq Oladosu of Grassroot Democratic Initiative, Gbemi Effunuga of Empower Africa for Change.

Others are, Godwin Ogbeide of Justice Forum Initiative, Oyemola Oyetoro of Anti-Corruption Crusaders, Comrade Kola Salau of National Rebirth Movement, Engr. Jude Ochiaga of Centre for Public Accountability, Comrade Wale Salami of Protest To Power Movement, Comrade Ishola Adeshina of Peoples’ Action for Democracy, Comrade Tayo Gbadebo of Children Project, Comrade Shikemi Awodele of Beko Rights Club, Comrade Abiodun Rabiu of Centre for Cultural and Religious Rights, Comrade Wasiu Isiaka of ISOKAN, Comrade Adetutu Oreniyi of Aluta Youth Collective.

Written by Julius Eras-Olabowu