Niger Delta stakeholders demand 70% licence subsidy for modular refinery operators
Stakeholders in the Niger Delta region have called for the subsidisation of modular/artisanal refinery licence by 70 per cent to enable artisanal operators to acquire the licences.
They made the call, yesterday in Abuja at the second stakeholders’ engagement on integration of the modular/artisanal refinery operations into the oil and gas sector to mitigate challenges of revenue loss, petroleum scarcity and environmental pollution.
A communiqué, signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Ita Enang, urged the government to scale up activities of modular/artisanal refineries in the Niger Delta for more economic benefit to the country.
Stakeholders also urged the government to take inventory of the domestic modular/artisanal refinery operators and send them to the Federal University of Petroleum, Effurun (FUPRE) for further training.
They stressed the need for formalisation of the modular/artisanal refinery operators in Nigeria, urging the authorities to curb the activities of security operatives involved in illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta
The communiqué reads: “Government should minimise their threats in order to allow artisanal operators to come out to engage more with the government.
“Open up of the petroleum industry process to allow for more participation including the modular/artisanal operators. Approve the implementation of the recommendations from the first stakeholders’ engagement.
“The Federal Government should approve the formation of the Presidential Artisanal Crude Oil Refining Development Initiative (PACORDI). Foreign Technical Partners who are willing to invest in the oil industry in the country should be encouraged to partner with the artisanal operators with the involvement of the communities.
Enang in his welcome address, explained that the essence of the meeting was to identify the challenges of modular/artisanal refinery operations on the environment, black soot and carbonization.
He appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the stakeholders’ engagement, which he said was very timely in addressing some of the current challenges in the oil industry that have led to the loss of revenue and the present petroleum scarcity and environmental degradation.