Communities in the Niger Delta region are indicating interest in working with the federal government and the private sector to develop the Modular Refinery concept as President Muhammadu Buhari’s New Vision for the region begins to take effect.
This is one of the highlights of the inter-ministerial meeting on the Niger Delta presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo where it was agreed that modular refineries are the panacea to illegal refineries in the region.
Under the plan, communities would come together working with their respective state governments, the federal government and the private sector operators to work out a template for the establishment of modular refineries in the communities.
Professor Osinbajo said at the inter-ministerial meeting that government was working towards “creating opportunities and the environment where the people in the communities can benefit.”
It was the second of such meeting in the past few weeks aimed at working out how best to establish the modular refineries.
At the meeting attended by the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Barrister Kingsley Otuoro; Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uhuru; Petroleum Resources Minister of State, Dr Ibe Kachikwu; Environment Minister of State; Mallam Ibrahim Usman Jibril, other issues including developments on the planning for the Maritime University, update on contractors in the Niger Delta region returning to site and Amnesty issues among others were also discussed.
The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere; the DG of NIMASA, Mr Dakuku Peterside; and the head of the Amnesty Office, Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd), were also in attendance.
Already, the people of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Delta State, have indicated interest in the establishment of modular refinery.
Under the aegis of the Gbaramatu Oil and Gas Producing Trust Fund and working in a 60/40 percent partnership with the Missouri American Energy of the United States, a delegation of the group met with Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa on Thursday to inform him of the decision to build modular refineries.
At the meeting, the vice president noted that the modular refineries to be established would have to be profitable and realistic in order to address critical issues bothering on the development of the region on a sustainable basis.
He added that the Federal Government was committed to addressing challenges in the Niger Delta in a comprehensive manner.
“There are several things that we are working on now on the modular refineries and what government’s own participation is all about,” the vice president said, adding that government was “also trying to work out a template for implementing this decision on modular refineries.”
He said the modular refineries would be structured in a way to make them work for business and durable.
He restated the President Buhari administration’s commitment to ensuring that issues concerning the Niger Delta were dealt with according to new vision for the region.
“It is a long term commitment that is why we are looking at projects that will benefit the people of the region and the country at large,” he added.
The Vice President commended the Gbaramatu community for taking the initiative to support government’s actualisation of a plan for the region, stating that “it should be one of the models of what we will be doing in the future.’’