Niger Delta Youth Coalition for Peace and Progress (NDYCPP), on Sunday advised the federal government to set up a committee to identify and document local refineries operating in the region.
The group noted that establishing the committee would be the next logical step to federal government’s plan to liberalize modular refineries as announced by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during his recent tour.
Mr Olayinka Jude, Acting National President of NDYCPP who gave the advise in an interview on Sunday noted that the committee would generate a database for planning purposes.
He observed that lack of statistics on the local refineries which operated illegally would make it difficult for government to take decisions on the capacities of the operators and the volume of crude they could operate.
He pledged the readiness of the youth group to collaborate with stakeholders including security agencies to identify existing sites for possible integration into the modular refineries proposed by the federal government.
“Our coalition consists of proactive, pragmatic and forward looking youth groups who are desirous of contributing meaningfully to the socio economic growth of the society.
“We suggest government should set up a task force comprising the Police, JTF, NNPC Officials, Oil company officials, advocacy groups like us and other persons to go round the region identify illegal bunkering sites.
“The sites should be cordoned off instead of destroying them, data should be collected while any stolen crude found should be seized.
“The impounded petroleum products should then be re-channelled back to the government refineries for proper refining,” Jude said.
He said that operators of the artisanal refineries should be encouraged such to form co-operatives for integration when the modular-refineries come on stream.
“It is such persons who are in the database of the government that would be first given the benefit to participate before others that would meet the guidelines for participation by government.
“That way the products will not be wasted, the environment will not be polluted, the bunkering sites are known, those behind the bunkering sites are also known.
“While they are waiting for government to come up with the modalities of the modular refineries, those whose biometric have been captured should be engaged in the security network.
“They will help to check new entrants from coming in to any illicit bunkering activities. It will be a win-win situation for the government, for the people, for the oil companies and for the environment,” he said
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