Six modular refineries are to begin operations soon in the country, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Edobor Iyamu, has disclosed.
Addressing the ‘Dialogue on Critically Appraising Mechanisms Used To Transfer Benefits of Resource Extraction to the Niger Delta Region’ in Uyo yesterday, he stated that the move was part of efforts by the President Muhammad Buhari administration to grow local content in the Niger Delta and ensure it benefits from the opportunities accruable from oil exploration.
Consequently, the aide stressed that the Federal Government had kept its promise by ensuring that the refineries were not only given licences, but also encouraged to begin production.He said the current administration had put in place a conducive environment for investors to come into the sector, adding that government had approved zero duty for modular refinery equipment.
The presidential aide reiterated the commitment of the Buhari government to the strengthening of the Local Content Act.Earlier, a member of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Expert Advisory Panel, Dr. Ukoha Ukiwo, stated that the numerous
frameworks and mechanisms to attract development to the region would be fruitless if trust was not built through engagement among government, oil companies and the communities.
He said that harmony could be struck in the area and benefits derived when opportunities are created for the people to participate in production, as that would improve the economy of the communities.
Dr. Chris Onosode of Stakeholders Democratic Network appealed to government and oil companies to work towards minimising the negative impact of oil exploration in the region, just as the Programme Coordinator of Nigeria Natural Resources Charter, Tengi George-Ikoli, urged the residents to hold government accountable for their God-given resources.