The Details: This was made public by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Edobor Iyamu at a dialogue in the Niger Delta Region. He reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to ensure that the Niger Delta benefits from oil exploration in the area.
“The Federal Government had kept its word by ensuring that the refineries were not only given licenses but also encouraged to begin production. The present Federal Government has put conducive environment for investors to open modular refineries in the country,” he said.
Iyamu made a case for the government, noting that 35 modular licenses were issued in the past but nothing was done about it. He argued that the issue of modular refineries was not a fluke and would be utilized adequately this time.
‘So, today as I said we have six modular refineries, and I have been there myself not talking about things I read or saw from newspapers. I went there physically to inspect the modular refineries,” Iyamu added.
Reacting to the development, Ukoha Ukiwo, member of the Nigeria Extractive Industries and Transparent Initiative Expert Advisory Panel pleaded for trust on the part of the government, oil companies and the communities for the refineries to work. He said it would be beneficial for all stakeholders if a better framework was crafted to bring more benefits to the region.
However, Programme Coordinator of the Nigeria Natural Resources Charter, Miss Tengi George-Ikoli stood on the part of accountability, advising the people to hold government accountable for how the oil and gas resources are managed to ensure that communities enjoy benefits from the resources.
Recall that in 2018, NNPC approved licenses for 13 modular refineries. According to the then Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, 35 expressions of interest for the establishment of modular refineries were declared but only 13 were issued licenses by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).