The Federal Government of Nigeria disclosed on Wednesday that it is in the process of establishing three modular refineries in each of the oil producing states, distinctly the Niger delta region.
The government plans to establish an estimated 18 refineries in Nigeria’s six major oil producing states in the Niger Delta including Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, , Edo, Cross River, Delta State.
Chief Sharon Ikeazor, Minister of State for Environment, disclosed that the project will halt artisanal refining activities going on in oil producing areas.
In her statement, “In a bid to find alternative sources of livelihood for artisanal refiners and to encourage them to disengage completely from their illegal activities, the Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the Office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and other critical stakeholders, are working on the establishment of three modular refineries per state in the oil producing areas as a pilot scheme to engage them (artisanal refiners).
“These modular refineries are intended to be 100 per cent designed and manufactured in Nigeria using the expertise of government institutions such as the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Federal University of Petroleum Effurun and Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.
“Others include Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Niger Delta Development Commission, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Nigerian Content Development and Management Board, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, etc.”
She further stated the government would equip and train artisanal refinerson environmental management and oil spill management and remediation.
“The main objective is to enable those participating in illegal/artisanal oil refining to transit into operation of modular refineries to be run legitimately as a business under proper technical, commercial and environmental regulation,” Ikeazor stated.
“It is also the intention of government that other artisanal refiners that cannot be absorbed in the pilot modular refineries will be congregated into business clusters and the Alternative Livelihood Fund in the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project be utilised to set up businesses for them, especially on the management on spent oil to engage them.
“These measures will help to drastically reduce the menace of artisanal refining, oil theft and pipeline vandalism to the benefit of our environment and bring prosperity to the oil host communities in the Niger Delta and to our nation at large.”