Artisanal Oil Refiners Association of Nigeria have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to approve licenses for 10 modular refineries of 1,000 barrels daily capacity per each oil-producing states in the Niger Delta.
National Chairman of the Association, Godwin Sunday, made the demand when he led members of the group for interactive session with the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang on Wednesday in Abuja.
The association pleaded with the Federal Government to open up the oil and gas industry to prevent certain individual from setting up monopoly at the detriment of Nigerians, stressing that “as a body well rooted in oil and gas industry, we will continue to give Government maximum support for this purpose”.
Sunday said: “Let me officially congratulate our brothers in the northern part of the country and President Buhari for integrating Artisanal Gold Mining activities in the country’s legal, economic and institutional framework. This is a significant milestone and it will change the trajectory of our nation’s economy.
“Let me emphasize that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander, as it will amount to injustice if the Federal Government is not paying needed attention to the Artisanal Oil Refiners in the Southern part of the country. As Niger Deltans, we believe in action but promised never to go back to our past ways of militancy and pipeline vandalism”.
The association pleaded with the Federal Government through the Office of the SSA to the president on Niger Delta Affairs, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of petroleum, NNPC, NDDC, PTDF, NEITI, NOSDRA and other agencies of government to set up a Presidential Committee to look into the activities and demands of the Artisanal Oil Refiners in the Niger Delta region.
Senator Ita Enang disclosed that his office was engaging with stakeholders on the integration of Artisanal refinery operators into the mainstream petroleum refining in the country, according to a statement made available to The Dream Daily Newspaper in Abuja by his media aide, Mr. Edet Ekpenyong.
Senator Enang noted that Nigeria has the capacity to produce the required petroleum products required in the country if the Artisanal Refinery Operators were giving the necessary backing.