Presidency has said that states in the Niger Delta region are beginning to show interest in working with the Federal Government and the Private Sector to develop the Modular Refinery concept.
The Federal Government has considered the establishment of modular refineries as a panacea to illegal refineries in the region.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media, Laolu Akande, said this was one of the highlights of the inter-ministerial meeting on the Niger Delta presided over on Thursday by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
He explained that under the plan that is being developed, communities would come together working with their respective State Governments, the Federal Government and Private Sector operators, to work out a template for the establishment of modular refineries in the communities.
Also, a delegation of representatives from the Gbaramatu Kingdom with a group of US investors met with the Vice President.
The Vice President was quoted as saying at the meeting, “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”.
According to him, “we will engage them on the basis of trust, we must prove to them that we are trust-worthy.”
The meeting was attended by the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Barrister Kingsley Otuoro; Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uhuru; Petroleum Resources Minister of State, Dr Ibe Kachikwu; and Environment Minister of State; Mallam Ibrahim Usman Jibril.
Other issues including developments on the planning for the Maritime University, update on contractors in the Niger Delta region returning to site and Amnesty issues among others were also discussed.
Later the Vice President held a meeting with representatives of the Gbaramatu Kingdom and investors, under the aegis of the “Oil and Gas Producing Trust Fund,” including prospective investors in a Modular Refinery project in the community.
At the meeting, the Vice President noted that the modular refineries to be established will have to be profitable and realistic in order to address critical issues bothering on the development of the region on a sustainable basis.
He added that the Federal Government is committed to addressing challenges in the Niger Delta in a comprehensive manner.
According to him, “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 would not last…it is a business proposition first and foremost, it must make sense.”