The federal government may be considering encouraging artisanal crude oil refiners in the Niger Delta who have over the years bridged the supply gap in the petroleum sector.
It is estimated that a significant percentage of all the petroleum products being consumed in the Niger Delta are products of stolen crude oil that is processed at the so-called illegal refineries.
Speaking to the people of the region in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital on Saturday, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Paul Boroh, said that the federal government plans to liberalize the modular refineries in order to develop the oil rich region.
Boro who is also the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, expressed optimism that the proposed modular refineries, which would be situated in oil producing communities, will mark the beginning of a new era in the Niger Delta.
He assured the people that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to changing the Niger Delta narrative for the better.
Applauding FG’s new vision for the region, Boro said that the idea of making oil bearing communities the hub for refining and related activities will create lots of jobs and better income for the people, as well as put them in a better position to drive the local economy.
The Presidential aide however appealed to the youths to be calm and more articulate in their quest for better living conditions, urging them to take advantage of the good gestures of the present administration.
Boro explained that government was working with the oil producing states, local governments, oil companies and the private sector, including civil society organizations to achieve sustainable development in Niger Delta.
He commended the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo for his tour of oil producing areas in order to identify with the people and have a first-hand experience of the challenges they are facing.
He also expressed optimism that with the proposed coming on stream of modular refineries in oil bearing communities, the ex-agitators and other youths in the region will be meaningfully engaged in decent jobs.
In his response, Chairman of Phase II ex-agitators in the Niger Delta, Salvation Rufus, commended President Buhari for demonstrating sincerity in tackling the challenges of the Niger Delta region.
He said that the idea of allowing modular refineries to be located in oil bearing communities in the Niger Delta region speaks volume of the sincere intentions of the present administration towards the Niger Delta youths.
Rufus also commended the Acting President for his tour of the oil communities, saying that it shows that the feral government was committed to the development of the region.
According to him, if the decision to allow the oil bearing communities to legally operate modular refineries becomes a reality, it would be the best thing that has happened to the people of the region.