Ijaw people call for the legalising of local refineries

The Ijaw People Development Initiative (IPDI) has
sent a message to the President Muhammadu
Buhari-led federal government to stop the
destruction of local refineries in the Niger Delta
region
and argued that they were not illegal.
The military-led Operation Crocodile Tears in the
Niger Delta region has been geared towards
reducing militancy in the region and also
destroying local refineries.
Vanguard reports that Austin Ozobo who is the
national president of (IPDI) argued that local
refineries help in controlling price and availability
of petroleum and that military officials should stop
destroying.

He said instead, they should be legalised and
allowed to function properly.
“The local refineries help in controlling price and
availability of petroleum, diesel and kerosene
products in the country and government should
regulate, rather than destroy the technology.”
“It is, therefore, unfair to describe its operation
illegal, what is illegal about it, no innovation is
illegal, and no technology is illegal in the world.
The government can regulate its operation and
earn revenue from it. It is subject to improvement.
“They should think of improving the robust local
technology and stop destroying them. The army
and navy, which destroy stolen crude or locally
refined products are another set of economic
saboteurs against the nation’ economic. They are
not different from oil thieves and vandals because
both efforts gear towards bleeding the nation’s
economy.”

“That local refineries are not owned by government
do not make them illegal. The government is
sectional and lopsided, that is why they fail to see
the beauty of this local technology.
“Local refineries in the country complement other
refineries in the country. They help in controlling
price and availability of petroleum products in the
country, such as petroleum, diesel and kerosene
products. Nigeria government does not see the
beauty of it because it is being operated by people
of the most neglected Niger Delta. But it would
have been welcomed if it were operated by the
northerners.”
“Local refinery bunkering business has created
thousands of jobs for interested jobless persons
and young school leavers all over the Niger- Delta
region and the western part of this country and had
drastically reduced crime rate in the region. The
activities of local refinery have reduced poverty
among aborigines in these regions.”
“The so- called illegal refineries could be converted
to Modula refineries. If the govt think it is illegal,
let the govt legalize it by either issuing operational
lichens or permit. It can be regulated in such a
way that the operators will be buying raw crude
direct from NNPC at local price.
“Of what importance is the destruction of
impounded stolen crude, it is unfair to destroy it,
looking at its economic importance. Whether
stolen or impounded, such does not reduce or
devalue the crude or other locally- refined
products. If the government is wise, such
impounded products can be converted to assist
the dying economy. Instead of burning it or
wasting it, it is better to allow citizen to use it to
develop themselves if the government is not being
wicked.”

“The local refineries help to checkmate activities of
militancy and piracies in the region as thousands
of jobless persons now earn a living from it.
Operators of local refineries are not oil thieves,
neither pipeline vandals, they buy to refine.
“They are different from oil thieves and vandals and
saboteurs, who are seeking pipeline repair and
surveillance contracts. Oil thieves are those, who
use vessels and barges to siphon crude from
pipeline and export it, these group of persons
include NNPC top staff, top politicians, top army
and navy officers.
“Local refinery operators buy remnants or spill
over from such cartels to refine. They buy to refine
and do not siphon from pipelines to get their
products. The government of Buhari, its military
and navy should have a rethink and stop further
destruction of the nation’s economic products.”

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