Some communities in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State have declared their readiness to commence operation of the modular refineries and made appeal to the Federal Government to issue them licences.
They made the request Thursday at a sensitisation programme organised by the Oil and Gas Surveillance Stakeholders Forum in collaboration with Okrika Local Government council.
The programme had as its theme, “End the Sabotage, Save the Future, Say No To Pipeline Vandalism And Oil Theft, Think Modular Refining, A New way To Go”.
Chief Tamuno Akaluogba, who represented the Chiefs Council Chairman, Amiesimaka Kala-Owolo, said the communities were ready to commence operation and waiting for licences from the Federal government.
He wants the Federal Government to issue licences so that Okrika communities could become the first before other communities, stressing that Okrika had suffered so much from oil impact.
Akaluogba who also represented the leader of the Niger Delta Vigilante, High Chief Ateke Tom, said the people of the area have all it takes to build their own modular refinery and are only waiting for operational licences from the government, stressing that chiefs of the area including Chief Ateke Tom, hate oil theft and illegal refinery.
He said: “We have the money it will take and other needed resources if the Federal Government gives us the chance to build”.
He lamented that the activities of illegal oil refiners had affected the area, hence the need for full implementation of the modular initiative to check the ugly trend.
Akaluogba urged the Federal Governemnt to prevail on security agencies in the state to return crude recovered from oil thieves for proper refining at the Port Harcourt refinery instead of wasting them or causing more harm to the environment by burning them as is being done across the Niger Delta region.
Chairman, Caretaker Committee, Okrika Local Government Area, Hon Wilson Alabere, appealed to the Federal Government to give more chances to Niger Delta region to operate modular refineries.
Alabere expressed disappointment that 80 per cent of oil blocks in the region were given to individuals who are not from Niger Delta and called on the Federal Government to give more chances to operate the modular refineries for speedy development of the region.