Nigerian govt to flag-off first modular refineries August

Nigeria’s government will flag-off the first set of modular refineries domiciled mostly in the country’s Delta region, next month, Presidency officials said on Tuesday.

The government had in March this year, highlighted plans to integrate, rather than eliminate the illegal refineries, after the State owned oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said it was losing an average of N2.2 billion yearly, following illegal tapping.

Briefing newsmen at the State House Abuja, Presidential media aide Laolu Akande, who briefed alongside the Presidential spokesmen, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, said the Acting President will hold a ground breaking event to signal the commencement of the first set of miniature refineries next month.

The move will come after a meeting between Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and Pan-Niger Delta Forum, (PANDEF) early next week, to discuss issues on the development of the Niger Delta, the official said.

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In November last year, President Muhammadu Buhari met with leaders of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF at the State House Abuja, to discuss issues relating to the peace and development of the region. The President had set up an inter ministerial committee headed by Acting President Osinbajo, with a mandate to consider the requests made by PANDEF.

Osinbajo had subsequently embarked on a tour of oil producing states in the region to hold discussions with different stakeholders.

“So next week, there is going to be a report from the government side, the inter-ministerial group led by the Acting President.

“Some of the highlights will be discussed at the meeting are the Modular refineries, which we hope will start from August. They will do the ground breaking of the first set of modular refineries” he said.

At the meeting, the FG will also give an update on the Ogoni Clean-up, which the Buhari Administration launched last year. The clean-up which is expected to last for about 30 years, is one of the biggest oil spill clean-ups ever, as contained in the United Nations Environment Programme Report (UNEP).

After the launch, the process seemingly slowed amidst calls by locals for the government to keep its word. The minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman recently said the government is taking its time to clear all outstanding issues, build the right structures, before progressing with the clean-up, adding that he is not in a hurry to fail.

According to Akande, the coordinating team set up for Ogoni Clean-up have already conducted the Health Impact Assessment, Soil and Water tests.

The team will also be heading to Geneva where a holistic roadmap on the cleanup itself will be concluded with the international partners, Akande said adding that already they have hired a number of sons and daughters of Ogoniland who are trained in environmental sciences as technical assistants, about 15 of them.

Another issue that will be discussed at the meeting is the plan to open the Maritime University, Okerenkoko in October this year at the last meeting the VC was asked to bring a budget that will be approved, the media aide said.

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