Domestic oil refiners urge FG to establish modular refineries in Niger Delta

Artisanal Oil Refiners Association of Nigeria has appealed to the Federal Government to establish modular refineries in Niger Delta region to boost the nation’s economy.

The National Chairman of the Association, Mr Godwin Sunday, made the appeal at an interactive session with Sen. Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs on Friday in Abuja.

Sunday said that the government should at least establish 10 units of One thousand barrels daily per Niger Delta state to enhance the economy.

He said that the Federal Government should as well provide guarantee for the refiners to the tune of 15 million dollars per refinery.

Sunday said that the group was ready to be integrated in order to add value to the petroleum sector of the nation’s economy; hence we sought for the needed facility to establish the project.

According to him, the group agreed to stop illegal oil bunkering, and collaborate with the government to enhance the economy, considering the devastating effect on the environment such as degradation and even negative effect on the ecosystem.

The chairman also on behalf of the group commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the removal of fuel subsidy, describing it as one of the government’s greatest achievements.

He said that Nigerians were yet to align with the benefits of the subsidy removal in terms of economic stability.

“Let me officially appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for integrating Artisanal Gold Mining activities in the country’s legal, economic and institutional framework.

“This is a significant milestone and it will change the trajectory of our nation’s economy,” he said.

The chairman, however, used the session to plead with the Federal Government to open up the oil and gas industry to avoid certain individual setting up monopoly at the detriment of Nigerians.

“As a body well rooted in oil and gas industry, we will continue to give the government maximum support for this purpose,” he added.

He, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government through the Office of the presidential aide and other relevant agencies of government to set up Presidential Committee to look into the activities and demands of the Artisanal Oil Refiners in the Niger Delta region.

In his response, Enang said that the office was engaging with stakeholders on the integration of Artisanal Refinery Operators into the mainstream petroleum refining in the country.

He noted that Nigeria had the capacity to produce the required petroleum products required in the country, if the Artisanal Refinery Operators were given the necessary support.

According to him, harnessing the potentials in artisanal oil refinery operators and integrating locally refine products into the petroleum market will crash the price of petroleum products in the country.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that Artisanal oil refiners is a group with ideology, whose primary aim is building, empowering and adding value to the petroleum sector with technological power to refine crude. (NAN)


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