Thursday, April 6, 2017 11:44 pm
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said on Thursday that the Federal Government would engage the Niger Delta communities on construction of modular refineries on the basis of trust.
He said this during the inter-ministerial meeting on the Niger Delta in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
It focused on the implementation efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari’s New Vision for oil-producing communities in the region.
Already states in the region are beginning to indicate interest to work with the Federal Government and the private sector to develop the modular refinery concept as a panacea for illegal refineries in the region.
“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.
“We will engage them on the basis of trust; we must prove to them that we are trust-worthy”, Osinbajo said.
Issues of planning for the Maritime University, update on contractors in the Niger Delta returning to site and amnesty were also discussed at the meeting.
The inter-ministerial meeting was attended by the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Mr Kingsley Otuoro and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Usani.
Also in attendance was the Minister of State for Petroleum Resource, Dr Ibe Kachikwu and his counterpart in the Ministry of Environment, Malam Ibrahim Jibril.
The MD of NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere, the D-G of NIMASA, Mr Dakuku Peterside and the head of the Amnesty Office, retired Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh, were also in attendance.
The Vice President also met with a delegation from the Gbaramatu Kingdom accompanied by a group of U.S. investors.
The meeting, under the aegis of the Kingdom’s Oil and Gas Producing Trust Fund, deliberated on prospective investors’ interest in a Modular Refinery project in the community.
At the meeting, the Vice President noted that the modular refineries to be established should be profitable and realistic in order to address critical issues bordering on the development of the region on a sustainable basis.
He said the Federal Government was determined to address 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 will not last.
“It is a business proposition first and foremost; it must make sense.”
Osinbajo also said that the Buhari administration was determined to ensure 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”, he said.
Osinbajo commended the Gbaramatu community for taking the initiative to support government’s actualisation of a plan for the region, saying “it should be one of the models of what we will be doing in the future.”
Leader of the delegation and Bolowei of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Chief Wellington Okirika said the community was committed to the actualisation of the 20,000 barrels per day from the Gbaramatu Modular Refinery project.
Okirika said the project would ensure lasting peace and stability in the region and thanked the Buhari presidency for the Vice President’s visit to the Kingdom. (NAN)