Port Harcourt — The Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre, YEAC, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to issue modular refinery licenses to repentant artisanal refiners, who have formed and registered themselves into co-operative societies, in order to dissuade them from returning to the creeks.
YEAC in an open letter to the President, recalled that Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo, (then Acting President) in 2017 had assured of the establishment of modular refineries for youths involved in artisanal crude oil refining in the Niger Delta, as a way of curbing oil theft, vandalism and environmental pollution in the country.
Executive Director of YEAC, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, also recalled that the Minister of State for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, had also directed artisanal crude oil refiners to register and form into co-operative societies, for the easy issuance of modular refinery licenses.
Fyneface, who is also the National Facilitator, Project with Artisanal Crude Oil Refiners for Modular Refineries in the Niger Delta, said as a result, the group has commenced the process of registering artisanal refiners for the formation of co-operative aocieties for modular refineries, since 2019.
He spoke at the inauguration and presentation of three cooperative societies in Delta State to the Federal Government, namely, Delta North Modular Refinery Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society Ltd, Delta Central Modular Refinery Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society Ltd, and Delta South Modular Refinery Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society Ltd.
Advocacy Centre also announced that the group was on the move to inaugurate more modular refinery co-operative societies in other Niger Delta States.
“It is against these brief backgrounds that we write you this open letter to formally present to you, three Modular Refinery Multi-Purpose Co-operative Societies of artisanal crude oil refiners in Delta State for you to issue them Modular Refinery Licenses as promised.
“They are; Delta North Modular Refinery Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society Ltd with Christian Obokana (08033938770) as President; Delta Central Modular Refinery Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society Ltd with Cyril Oghenevwede (08032364268) as President and Delta South Modular Refinery Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society Ltd, with Clever Donokoromor (07065439069) as President.
“These three co-operative societies are also today collectively inaugurated as the pioneer members of “Delta State Association of Modular Refinery Multi-Purpose Co-operative Societies” with Clever Donokoromor as the Chairman.
“These are the authentic platforms of the real artisanal crude oil refiners who have stopped and embraced your policy on Modular Refineries as alternative means of livelihood in Delta State. In the days ahead, we will inaugurate and also present to you, Modular Refinery Co-operative Societies in other Niger Delta States.”
Again, the Advocacy Centre appealed to the Federal Government to established a scheme similar to PAGMI, to polish and streamlined artisanal refiners just like it was obtainable with artisanal gold miners in the North.
“While thanking you for taking this bold step to address issues around youths and artisanal crude oil refining in the Niger Delta through modular refineries, it is our recommendation that you speed-up the process and also kindly consider and establish a “Presidential Artisanal Crude Oil Refining Development Initiative (PACORDI)” for artisanal crude oil refiners in the Niger Delta, similar to the “Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI)” in parts of the North and Western Nigeria.
“We look forward to having you issue Modular Refinery Licenses to these Co-operative Societies so that they do not cite Government unseriousness and return to the creeks to cause more damage to oil facilities and our fragile environment.
“On our part as an organization, we will continue partnering with your government to address this and related issues in the Niger Delta and strengthen our facilitation of international development partners to co-fund the Modular Refinery projects for artisanal crude oil refiners in the Niger Delta.”