Advocates of modular refineries warn FG against delay in granting licences
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Bayelsa State’s advocates of modular refineries have urged the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to speed up the process of granting licences to enable them to begin operations without delay.
They unanimously agreed and warned that delays in granting licences could cast the Federal Government in bad light and make the people to return to the creeks to cause more damage to oil facilities and the environment.
They gave the warning on Wednesday as the group, the Project With Artisanal Crude Oil Refiners (PACOR), inaugurated three cooperative societies in Bayelsa State.
The national facilitator, PACOR, Fyneface Dumnamene, said that in line with the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari, the body had inaugurated the Bayelsa West, Central and East Modular Refinery Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society Limited.
Dumnamene said the cooperative societies would act as the authentic platforms for the real artisanal crude oil refiners in the state.
Dumnamene, who is also the Executive Director, Youth and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), said the centre had been clamouring for the refineries since 2017 and were happy that the President accepted and directed them to form themselves into cooperatives for the purpose of obtaining licences.
He said: “The cooperative you see today is the platform to drive this process for the modular refineries to be set up. Local and international partners are coming, companies that are into businesses will partner with them, the blueprint will be designed and people will come in as business partners.
“These are the authentic platforms of the real artisanal crude oil refiners who have stopped and embraced the Federal Government’s policy on modular refineries as alternatives means of livelihoods in Bayelsa State.
“The cooperative has a Constitution, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and everything will be done according to the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Whatever investment that will be made is not going to anybody’s pocket; it will go into an account that people who have control over it will manage and use it to build the modular refineries.”
While thanking Buhari for approving their recommendation for the establishment of three modular refineries in each Niger Delta states, he urged him to speed up the process of granting them licences to begin operations.
Bayelsa State Coordinator of the cooperatives, Mr. Philips Godfrey, requested the quick release of the licences to the cooperatives having been duly registered by the Federal Government.
Most of the stakeholders at the event called on the Federal Government to quickly release the licenses to the cooperatives to end the menace of illegal artisanal activities in most parts of the state and other Niger Delta states.