Artisanal Oil Refiners Association of Nigeria has called for Federal Government support in its bid to set up modular refineries of 10 units of 1,000 barrels per day in the Niger Delta.
The National Chairman of the association, Mr. Godwin Sunday made the call 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 in Abuja.
A statement by Enang’s media aide, Edet Ekpenyong on Thursday said Mr. Sunday pleaded with the Federal Government to through the Office of the SSA to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, NNPC, NDDC, PTDF, NEITI, NOSDRA and other agencies of government to set up Presidential Committee to look into the activities and demands of the Artisanal Oil Refiners in the Niger Delta region.
The group backed President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to remove petrol subsidy, describing “it as one of the greatest achievements which Nigerian are yet to align with its benefits in terms of economic stability”.
The group also pleaded with the government to open “up the oil and gas industry to avoid certain individual setting up monopoly at the detriment of Nigerians”.
They added that “as a body well rooted in oil and gas industry, we will continue to give government maximum support for this purpose”.
Sunday also stated: “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”.
According to him, “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 are 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”.
Earlier, Senator Enang said his office is engaging with stakeholders on the integration of Artisanal refinery operators into the mainstream petroleum refining in the country.
He noted that Nigeria has the capacity to produce the required petroleum products required in the country if the Artisanal Refinery Operators are giving the necessary backing.