• Osinbajo Insists On Part-Ownership By Oil Communities
The Presidency, on Saturday said it has so far received interest for 38 licensed privately financed greenfield and mini-modular refineries to be established in the Niger-Delta region.
A statement by ‘Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity in the Office of the Vice President, said this was the highpoint of an end-of-the-year review meeting of the Niger Delta Inter-Ministerial Committee at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, held on December 22, 2017, where Vice President Yemi Osinbajo noted the Federal Government resolve, in line with its Niger Delta New Vision, to target measurable objectives in its efforts towards implementing development projects in the region.
The modular refineries with a total refining capacity of 300,000 barrels per day of crude oil are located in five of the nine Niger Delta states namely: Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Imo states.
Also, two of them: Amakpe Refinery (to be located in Akwa Ibom), and OPAC Refinery (in Delta State) have their mini-refineries modules already fabricated, assembled and containerized overseas, ready for shipment to Nigeria for installation.
The advanced stage of development, Akande explained, “means that these projects have passed the Licence to Establish (LTE) stage, while some have the Authority to Construct (ATC) licence or close to having it because they have met some critical requirements in the licensing stage.”
The three stages for establishing a refinery were listed as; Licence to Establish (LTE), Authority to Construct (ATC) and Licence to Operate (LTO).
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who chaired the meeting, noted the issue of funding as a major challenge to most of the investors, and the primary reason holding further progress of the refinery projects. He therefore directed the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources to provide the necessary support on a regular basis, while creating the enabling environment for positive investments in modular refineries by engaging key government agencies.
The agencies include the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board, (NCDMB), and financial institutions, including the International Finance Corporation, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Bank of Industry, amongst others.
The Vice President stressed the importance of ensuring that the oil communities have a stake in the modular refineries and directed that an appropriate model be developed to achieve that.
The Muhammadu Buhari administration’s commitment to the privately financed modular refineries, which is expected to increase local refining capacity, create jobs, while ensuring peace and stability in the Niger delta region, the statement continued, featured prominently in recent talks between the Federal Government and the oil-producing areas, as represented by PANDEF. The move is expected to also reposition the petroleum industry and ensure self-sufficiency of petroleum products, while serving as a disincentive for illegal refineries and oil pollution.
Another feature of the meeting was the need to further support the Maritime University’s take-off for training of staff that would ensure it produces qualitative graduates; Ogoni Clean-up, and increasing support for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the region.
Project Coordinator for the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, (HYPREP), Dr. Marvin Dekil told the meeting that progress has been made in several areas of the Ogoni clean-up, especially evaluation of existing water facilities in the four local government areas in the area.
This, he continued, is part of providing clean drinking water; demonstration of remediation technologies at sites in some of the impacted communities; hiring of and the technical training of Ogoni scientists.
At the meeting attended by Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Unguru Usani; his counterparts in the Ministry of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu; Minister (of State) for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jubril, Dr. Dekil assured that health impact assessment would be conducted in some communities in the coming weeks.
Others include the Director-General of Nigeria Maritime Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside; Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Corporation, Mr. Nsima Ekere; and the Special Adviser to the President on the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig-General Paul Boroh (rtd).