- Professor Yemi Osinbajo met with elders from Gbaramatu and some foreign investors interested in the project
- He revealed how the modular refineries would be constructed as well as the interest of the federal government in it
As implementation efforts on President Muhammadu Buhari’s new vision for oil-producing communities in the Niger Delta region progress, states in the region are beginning to indicate interest in working with the federal government and the private sector to develop the modular refineries as a panacea to illegal refineries in the region, a statement from the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.
The statement released by Laolu Akande, the spokesperson of the vice president, and obtained by NAIJ.com said this was one of the highlights of the inter-ministerial meeting on the Niger Delta presided over earlier today by Osinbajo on Thursday. April 6.
The statement said under the plan that is being developed, communities would come together working with their respective states, the federal government and the private sector operators to work out a template for the establishment of modular refineries in the communities.
The statement revealed further that a delegation of representatives from the Gbaramatu Kingdom also met with Osinbajo. The representatives came with a group of US investors.
“We are saying there is a way out of violent agitation, but it is by creating opportunities and the environment where the people in the communities can benefit,” Osinbajo said at the inter-ministerial meeting which is the second such meeting in the past few weeks working out how best to establish the modular refineries.
“We will engage them on the basis of trust, we must prove to them that we are trust-worthy,” he added.
At the inter-ministerial meeting attended by the deputy governor of Delta state, Barrister Kingsley Otuoro; the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uhuru; Petroleum Resources minister of state, Dr Ibe Kachikwu; Environment minister of state; Mallam Ibrahim Usman Jibril, other issues including developments on the planning for the Maritime University, update on contractors in the Niger Delta region returning to site and amnesty issues among others were also discussed.
The MD of NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere; the DG of NIMASA, Mr Dakuku Peterside; and the head of the Amnesty Office, Brig-Gen Paul Boroh (rtd), were also in attendance.
At the meeting with the Gbaramatu elders, Osinbajo noted that the modular refineries to be established will have to be profitable and realistic in order to address critical issues bothering on the development of the region on a sustainable basis.
He added that the federal government is committed to addressing challenges in the Niger Delta in a comprehensive manner.
“There are several things that we are working on now on the modular refineries and what government’s own participation is all about.
“We are also trying to work out a template for implementing this decision on modular refineries.
“But we must also structure this in a way that works for business or structure it in a way that is realistic and works, otherwise it would not last…it is a business proposition first and foremost, it must make sense,” he said adding that the Buhari administration is committed to ensuring that “we look at how we deal with the issues concerning the Niger Delta as enshrined in our new vision for the region.
“It is a long term commitment that is why we are looking at projects that will benefit the people of the region and the country at large.”
Some Nigerians who commented, praised the government for this move. Read the comments here:
Watch how Osinbajo flagged-off the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line project recently: