As the federal government continues to fine tune arrangements for the establishment of modular refineries in oil producing communities, a group under the auspices of the Niger Delta Youth Coalition for Peace and Progress (NDYCPP), on Sunday urged the government to set up a committee to identify and document local refineries operations in the region.
The group noted that establishing the committee would be the next logical step to government’s plan to liberalise modular refineries as announced by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during his recent tour of the area.
Acting National President of the group, Olayinka Jude who gave the advice in an interview yesterday noted that the committee would generate a database for planning purposes.
He pointed out that lack of statistics on the local refineries which operated illegally would make it difficult for government to take decisions on the capacities of the operators and the volume of crude they could refine.
He pledged the readiness of the group to collaborate with stakeholders including security agencies to identify existing sites for possible integration into the modular refineries being proposed by the federal government.
“Our coalition consists of proactive, pragmatic and forward looking youth groups who are desirous of contributing meaningfully to the socio-economic growth of the country.
“We suggest government should set up a task force comprising the Police, the Joint Task Force (JTF), Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Officials, Oil company officials, advocacy groups and others to go round the region to identify illegal bunkering sites.
“The sites should be cordoned off instead of destroying them and data should be collected while any stolen crude found should be seized. The impounded petroleum products should then be channeled back to the government refineries for proper refining,” Jude said.
He said that operators of the local refineries should be encouraged to form co-operatives for integration when the modular-refineries come on stream.“It is such persons who are in government database that would be given the first benefits to participate before others who would meet the guidelines.
“That way the products will not be wasted, the environment will not be polluted, the bunkering sites are known while those behind the bunkering sites are also identified,” he added.