The Federal Government has re-stated its commitment towards the actualisation of the modular refineries project, with a commencement from Rivers and Delta States soon.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, which was made available to journalists, disclosed that the information was part of the highlights of a meeting of the Niger Delta Interministerial Committee presided over by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa at the weekend.
The statement also indicated that the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State would commence academic activities for the 2017/2018 academic year with 196 students.
According to the statement, “one set of the modular refinery package shipment has since arrived in Nigeria, and after undergoing clearance at customs, would be installed in Delta State, while another set, which is expected to arrive the country in April this year, would be installed in River State.”
He added that the operations of the modular refineries would involve the communities where they were located.
He said the modular refineries are intended to create job opportunities for youths in the Niger Delta region.
The statement further disclosed that in December last year, the committee received a report that 38 licensed privately- financed greenfield and mini modular refineries investors had so far indicated interest in the establishment of refineries in the region, with at least 10 of the licensed refineries investors at an advanced stage of development”.
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Protest: Commissioner Urges Dialogue Over PIA Implementation
Delta State Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Olorogun Vincent Oyibode, has called on the protesting host communities to Otumara Flow Station of the Shell Petroleum Development Commission (SPDC) in Warri South West Local Government Area to engage in a friendly dialogue with the multi-national oil firm over the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Oyibode, who made the call while briefing journalists on the outcome of his visit to Otumara Flow Station and the host communities, in Warri, at the weekend, urged the protesting communities of Ugborodo, Deghele and Ugboegungun not to shut down the operations of the SPDC.
According to the commissioner, “the 20,000 barrels per day SPDC facility in Otumara is of great economic importance to the Federal and Delta State Government”.
He said the state government would continue to intervene where and when necessary just as he implored the host communities and SPDC to explore the benefits of dialogue in resolving the disagreement.
Oyibode also stated that the Governor Sheriff Oborevwori-led government was determined to provide an enabling environment for international oil companies and investors in the State.
The commissioner said, “the management team, Ministry of Oil and Gas visited the protestants at the Otumara community where the Flow Station is sited.
“We held discussions with leaders who expressed their concerns. We also advised that the internal wranglings within critical stakeholders over the name for the HCDT should not lead to shutting down of Otumara Flow Station and SPDC’s operations”.
The commissioner insisted that the disagreement between the host communities to Otumara Flow Station and SPDC which has to do with setting up a Host Community Development Trust was a matter that can be resolved amicably, adding that “the Delta State Government is on top of the issue.
“We appeal to the host communities of Ugborodo, Ugboegungun, and Deghele not to shut down the operations at the Otumara Flow Station, while the negotiations continue for a win-win resolution”.
It would be recalled that the protesting communities had earlier called on the SPDC to visit the host communities in line with the PIA 2021 provisíons which empowers communities to set up a Host Community Development Trust Fund (HCDTF).
However, following an alleged illegality of the multinational against the spirit of the PIA by refusing to engage the three communities of the Otumara Flow Station in the Fund, it ignited a protest and upon the expiration of the 48- hour ultimatum gained entry into the facility with the threat of a total shutdown.
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