A Non-Governmental Organisation, under the aegis of the Ogoni Liberation Initiative, on Sunday, urged the Federal Government to approve licenses for modular refineries, so as to reduce unemployment.
Mr Douglas Fabeke, the President of the group, disclosed this in a briefing to newsmen after an Ogoni host communities’ stakeholder meeting in Port Harcourt.
Fabeke appealed to the Federal Government to put in place policies that would enable individuals to go into modular refineries to reduce the burden and cost on the government, thereby reducing unemployment.
He stressed that if granted, the illegal oil refining operators would be reformed into cooperatives, which will benefit the government as crime will reduce, more revenue generated, with operators caused to pay taxes to the government like oil multinational companies.
Fabeke commended the federal and Rivers state governments for tackling the effects of illegal refineries in the region, adding that modular refinery, if legalized, will end the economic sabotage being experienced in the country.
According to Fabeke,”To reduce these illegal refineries, for example, Niger Delta states are oil states.
Government should set a platform that will be easier for private investors,“Private partners to come into oil and gas industries, setting up modular refinery, giving them license, reducing the procedures to make it easier for investors to come into this businesses.
“We already have a proposal we sent to the government and our proposal is coupled with industrial fabrication for modular refinery.
“That means we can build the modular refinery here and also fabricate the parts and this will create more jobs.
“Like in Ogoni, we don’t have the modular refinery, the Eleme Petrochemical Refinery is not working.
Government cannot manage their refineries.”
Nigeria should not be a country where fuel became a problem, there is no need to import fuel because we have the crude oil.
“What the governor has done in Rivers state is the best, other governors in the Niger Delta should emulate the Rivers state government in tackling the menace of soot and see how they can create an investment programme to eradicate illegal modular refineries.
“We however, state that the fight against illegal oil refining will not be effective without the input of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Mr President we are very much aware of how you had committed yourself to make sure Nigeria become a better country.”
This organization, in a few days from now shall publish your performance in the eight years of your tenure,” he stated.