FG Mulls Authorising Illegal Refineries To Transform Niger Delta

Paul Boroh, Niger Delta, RefineriesAmidst the challenges of inadequate local refining capacity and meeting the demand for refined petroleum products, the Federal Government seems to be thinking of encouraging artisanal refineries which had bridged the product supply gap for decades.

Although outlawed, more than 60% of diesel and kerosene used in the region are sourced from local bush refineries produced from stolen crude through fractional distillation.

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (rtd), says the Federal Government plans to liberalise modular refineries to develop the oil rich Niger Delta region.

Mr Boroh, who is the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, assured the people of the region that the proposed modular refineries in oil-producing communities would engender a new era in the Niger Delta region.

New Vision For Niger Delta

Speaking on Saturday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, he restated the commitment of the President Buhari’s administration towards the people of the region.

The President’s aide stated that the Federal Government’s intention of making oil bearing the hub for refining and related activities would not only create decent jobs and income for the people, but put them in a better position to drive the local economy.

While lauding the government’s new vision for the region, appealed to the youths to be calm, focused and more articulate in their quest for better living conditions and take advantage of the good gestures of the present administration.

“The Federal Government is seeking better ways for Niger Delta people to participate in the development process of the region through meaningful engagements.

“The Federal Government’s new partnership arrangement will bring about an unprecedented infrastructural development in the region.

“The government is working with the oil-producing states, local governments, oil companies and the private sector, including civil society organisations to achieve sustainable development in Niger Delta,” the amnesty coordinator revealed.

New Hub For Refining Activities

Boroh further commended the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, for taking the pains to identify with the people through his tour of the region.

I’m Not Under Any Pressure To Resign – Osinbajo
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo visits Niger Delta region

“The planned oil-communities-intervention-meeting by the Federal Government to chart short, medium and long term development blueprint is a strategy to enhance the socio-economic activities in the region.

“The proposed coming on stream of modular refineries in oil bearing communities, the ex-agitators and other youths in the region will be meaningfully engaged in decent job.

“Those with entrepreneurial skills in oil and gas can participate in the petro-chemical industries in their communities which will soon become the new hub for refining activities,” he explained.

Reacting to Boroh’s remarks, Chairman of Phase II Ex-agitators in the Niger Delta, Honourable Salvation Rifus, applauded President Buhari for demonstrating his sincere wish for the people of the region.

He said the option of allowing modular refineries to be located in oil bearing communities in the Niger Delta region speaks volume of the sincere intentions of the present administration towards the Niger Delta youths.

Rifus added that the tour of the oil communities by the Acting President had shown that the Federal Government was committed to the development of the region.

He noted that the decision to allow the oil bearing communities to legally operate modular refineries was the best thing that has happened to the people, describing it as a welcome development.

Ex-Militants Set To Be Trained In Advanced Farming Methods

Ex-Militants Set To Be Trained In Advanced Farming MethodsA total of 500 ex-militants in Bayelsa State have just benefited from the Presidential Amnesty programme.

The ex-militants have been sent to the National Bio-resources Centre, Odi, to train in advanced farming methods.

The beneficiaries will be trained in the application of verified scientific technologies to increase yields in crop and animal farming.

Speaking at the launch of the training, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh (Rtd), described investments in agriculture as key and imperative to the country’s national and economic growth.

He said: “Today’s economy remind us of what we have taken for granted and how with dedication and focus, we can turn the tide, using agriculture as the harbinger for economic greatness.

“It is not enough to clamour for diversification of the economy, we must walk the talk by raising a generation, which sees agriculture as a viable business platform and is willing to push the frontiers”.

Boroh said the programme would engender an atmosphere in the Niger Delta where youths can embrace commercial agriculture to reduce unemployment, thereby increasing food security and production.

He added: “The rich bio-diversity of the Niger Delta provides opportunities to explore the agricultural value chain production. We must take steps to become a giant in agro-allied businesses.’’

The Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency, Prof. Lucy Ogbadu hailed the Amnesty Office for taking the initiative to send the ex-militants to the centre for the advanced agricultural training.

“We are a centre dedicated to excellence with the required manpower to train entrepreneurs in agriculture by utilising the knowledge in contemporary farming methodology to give an edge to today’s farmer,” she said.

Ogbadu said that the youth should use the knowledge and skills they would acquire to improve their lives and impact on the society.

The youths will be trained in advanced methods in mushroom cultivation, fisheries, snail and grass cutter farming.

Other areas include poultry technology and crop farming.

Agricultural empowerment tools will be given to beneficiaries at the end of training.