35 Firms Apply To Build Modular Refineries In Niger Delta

The Presidency on Sunday disclosed that the Federal Government received 35 applications for the establishment of modular refineries in the Niger Delta as part of the present administration’s efforts aimed at repositioning the region.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on the New Vision for the Niger Delta.

Out of the 35 applications, Akande said 13 had reached what he called the Licence to Construct stage.

“Two out of these 13 refineries are almost ready for shipment. Consideration for Customs duty waiver and some form of tax holiday are also underway,” he said.

Akande also disclosed that the government was working with the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund, the Bank of Industry, AfrExim Bank, and the Nigerian Content Development Management Board to address the issue of lack of financial capacity on the part of the local partners who are expected to come up with a minimum of 15 per cent of cost as counterpart funding.

He listed the objectives of establishing modular refineries in the Niger Delta region to include creation of a robust domestic refining sector necessary to meet and exceed the full capacity of national demand, addressing the proliferation of illegal refineries in the Niger Delta and the attendant environmental degradation, and to provide jobs for unemployed youths in the region.

He added that N65bn was allocated to the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme in the 2018 Appropriation Bill currently before the National Assembly.

Under the scheme, he said 21,615 beneficiaries had been trained, out of which 4,079 had been empowered.

He said, “PAP has empowered 4,079 ex-militants through the establishment of businesses such as agriculture (cluster farms). 3,237 ex-militants are in various stages of vocational training and university scholarship programmes.

“The Amnesty Office has initiated the training of 10,000 beneficiaries in modern agriculture and established them into 10,000-hectare cluster farms in the nine Niger Delta states.

“PAP modern agricultural schemes are projected to create 80,000 new jobs in three years.”

Akande recalled that in June 2016, the present administration started the implementation of the 2011 United Nations Environment Programme report on Ogoniland devastated by decades of oil spills.

He also recalled that an inter-ministerial committee on Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project under the Ministry of Environment was established.

He said the committee had since set up structures for the final take off of the clean-up and the restoration of the region devastated by oil spills.

“Eight companies were engaged to conduct Demonstration Clean-up Exercises in the four Local Government Areas of Ogoni land, to enable HYPREP to select the best and most suitable technology for the remediation work.

“These demonstrations were recently concluded; the results are being studied by the Governing Council of the Ogoni Clean-up Project.

“HYPREP has also trained 15 indigenous Ogoni scientists on environmental assessment remediation.

“HYPREP assessed existing water facilities in Ogoni land in line with the UNEP recommendation report that potable water be provided for Ogoni following the pollution of water sources in the region by oil spills.

“Health impact assessment study to be done to ascertain whether there is a link between some disease patterns and oil pollution in the affected communities.

“Bids have been invited for consultancy on provision of water, health study and environmental remediation,” he added.

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