We’re working towards take-off of 10 modular refineries in Niger Delta – Osinbajo


…says Ogoni clean-up recording progress

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo assured stakeholders that the promotion and establishment of privately financed modular refineries in the country remain a top priority of the Federal Government.

According to Osinbajo, the objective is to increase local refining capacity, create jobs and ensure peace and stability in the Niger Delta region.

The policy featured prominently at the last interactive session between federal government officials led by Osinbajo and a delegation of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).

Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the vice president, Mr. Laolu Akande, said the initiative would also reposition the petroleum industry and ensure self-sufficiency of petroleum products, while serving as a disincentive for illegal refineries and oil pollution.

He quoted the VP as saying “the federal government, in line with its Niger Delta New Vision, is targeting measurable objectives in its efforts towards implementing development projects in the region.”

The December 22 meeting, according to Akande, “received a report that 38 licensed privately financed green field and mini-modular refineries investors have so far indicated interests in the establishment of refineries in the region, and at least ten of the licensed refineries investors are at an advanced stage of development.

The advanced stage of development means that these projects have passed the Licence to Establish (LTE) stage, while some have the Authority to Construct (ATC) licence or close to having it because they have met some critical requirements in the licensed stage.

There are three stages in the process of refinery establishment; Licence to Establish (LTE), Authority to Construct (ATC) and Licence to Operate (LTO).

So far, 10 modular refineries are located in five out of the nine states in the Niger Delta region; namely Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Imo states.

Also, two out of these 10 – Amakpe Refinery meant to be located in Akwa Ibom, and OPAC Refinery to be based in Delta State – have their mini-refineries modules already fabricated, assembled and containerized overseas, ready for shipment to Nigeria for installation. The total proposed refining capacities of the 10 licensed refineries stands at 300,000 barrels.”

Vice President Osinbajo directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to keep providing the necessary support and creating the enabling environment for positive investments in modular refineries by engaging key government agencies.

Such agencies include the Niger Delta Development Commission ((NDDC), Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB), and financial institutions, including the International Finance Corporation, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Bank of Industry, amongst others.

The Vice President stressed the importance of ensuring that the oil communities have a stake in the modular refineries and directed that an appropriate model be developed to achieve that.

Other issues addressed at the end of the year meeting include the Maritime University, Ogoni Clean-up, and other related issues such as increasing support for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the region.

On the Maritime University take-off, the Vice President noted that further support would be given by the federal government to ensure the training of staff to give the best to the incoming students of the institution.

On the Ogoni clean-up, the Project Coordinator for the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, (HYPREP), Dr. Marvin Dekil briefed the meeting that progress has been made in several areas of the clean-up.

He listed the evaluation of existing water facilities in the four local government areas in Ogoni land in the process of providing clean drinking water, demonstration of remediation technologies at sites in some of the impacted communities; hiring of and the technical training of Ogoni scientists. The Coordinator added that health impact assessment would be conducted in some communities in the coming weeks.

At the meeting were the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Unguru Usani; Education Minister Adamu Adamu; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jubril.

Others include the Director-General of Nigeria Maritime Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside; Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Corporation, Mr. Nsima Ekere; and the Special Adviser to the President on the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig-General Paul Boroh (rtd).